Parenting Resources

ADHD update - Early adverse events

One study evaluating over 13,000 adults aged 18 and over found that those who were physically abused prior to age 18 years were seven times more likely to have ADHD

Esme Fuller-Thomson, Rukshan Mehta, Angela Valeo. Establishing a Link Between Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Childhood Physical Abuse. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 2014; 23 (2): 188 DOI: 10.1080/10926771.2014.873510

Another study by Dr. Fuller-Thomson found that twice as many women with ADHD reported they had experienced sexual abuse or physical abuse during children compared with adults who did not have ADHD.  It is important to note that it was not possible to determine whether cause and effect, since children with behavior problems may be more likely to suffer abuse.

Esme Fuller-Thomson, Danielle A. Lewis. The relationship between early adversities and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Child Abuse & Neglect, 2015; DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.03.005

One early adverse childhood event that is hopefully preventable is divorce. Parents of newborns often are, of necessity, so focused on the care of their new infants that they do not have the time or emotional resources to pay attention to the needs of their spouses.  This is natural and healthy for the first few months of an infant's life, but by the time the infant is two to three months old, the parents will hopefully begin making the transition back to having a relationship with each other.  One way to reconnect is to schedule a 'date' - time together without the baby.  The date does not have to be expensive - you can walk around the block together.  You don't even need to miss a baby's feeding.  But you send a powerful message to your partner when you plan time to focus solely on each other.  If you have not had a date recently - please schedule one now.

Although we cannot protect our children from all harm, this is an encouragement to be aware of your child's friends and their parents.  You should think carefully before allowing your child to spend the night at a friend's home.  It may be better to have your child's friends come to your home where you can control media and activities.