Parenting Can Help Prevent Development Of ADHD In Early Childhood, Study Finds

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ADHD, a prevalent childhood neurological disorder, is characterized by symptoms like fidgeting, concentration issues, and impulsivity. Although it is normally managed through behavioral therapy and medication, researchers at the University of Waterloo have proposed proactive measures for parents to prevent ADHD onset in children.

Temperament, parenting and executive functioning influence ADHD development

Recent research in developmental psychology has emphasized the interconnectedness of temperament, parenting, and executive functions in the development of ADHD symptoms in children. However the latest study suggests the significance of early targeted intervention for those displaying specific predictive factors for ADHD symptoms.

Dr. Heather Henderson, a developmental psychology professor at Waterloo, suggests that early traits like exuberance, such as high excitement and curiosity, along with family factors, may contribute to ADHD symptoms in children. Her study highlights the importance of parental involvement in breaking down these pathways by using more directive and engaged parenting techniques.

Research suggests that exuberant preschoolers may struggle with self-regulation and executive functions like working memory and flexible thinking. In the latest study, researchers found that temperament and parenting together impact a child’s executive functions, with implications for ADHD symptoms reported by parents from ages five to 15.

According to the research findings, the manifestation of ADHD symptoms escalates during the course of childhood in correlation with the display of an exuberant temperament in early stages, executive functions ranging from low to normal, and experiencing relatively limited directive and engaged parenting when encountering novel situations during infancy.

ADHD symptoms stabilize between 5-9 years

ADHD symptoms generally reach a stable phase between ages five and nine, with a decline observed from nine to 15. However, Dr. Henderson suggests that in cases involving very young children exhibiting exuberant temperament and receiving less guiding parental influence, this stabilization may not manifest as expected.

Additionally Dr. Henderson suggests that adopting a more guiding approach to parenting, characterized by verbal and physical cues rather than strict control, could aid in the development of the child’s self-regulatory abilities and mitigate the escalation of ADHD symptoms.

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