Objective: This study explores whether parental support networks vary by sociodemographic factors among children at high risk for attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and whether network characteristics influence the receipt of mental health treatment for the child. Method: A school district-wide, two-phase screening study design was used to identify 266 children at high risk for ADHD. Parents completed standardized instruments assessing network structure and function, DSM-IV diagnoses of disruptive disorders, caregiver strain, and treatment receipt, and children self-reported internalizing symptoms. Relationships were examined with analysis of variance and multivariate prediction, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, psychopathology, and parental strain. Results: Network characteristics varied by race and socioeconomic status (SES), but not by child gender. African-American and disadvantaged parents reported smaller network sizes, but more frequent contact and higher levels of support than their white and high-SES counterparts. High levels of instrumental support lowered the odds of ADHD treatment during the 12 months before (OR = .7, p < .001) and after (OR = .7, p < .001) the network assessment interview. In contrast, parental strain increased the likelihood of ADHD treatment during both periods. Conclusions: Clinicians should anticipate high levels of caregiver strain and low levels of instrumental support among their patients' parents and address the potential high need for respite care in treatment plans.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry|
|State||Published - Jul 2003|
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Caregiver strain
- Mental health services
- Social networks