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Racial and Ethnic Variation in ADHD, Comorbid Illnesses, and Parental Strain


Our objective was to understand the racial and ethnic variation in parental strain for non-Latino White, African American, and Latino parents of children with ADHD and other comorbid diagnoses. We selected 5,397 children with a current diagnosis of ADHD from the 2007 National Survey of Child Health (NSCH) and identified comorbid conditions that could cause additional parental strain. Multivariate regression analyses of parental strain, from ADHD plus comorbid physical and mental health conditions, varied by race and ethnicity in our sample. Additionally we found variables such as mother’s mental health, family structure and social support to play significant roles in parental strain. These findings indicate a need for greater understanding of the family mechanisms in place that affect parental strain for these varying populations of families. Interventions to reduce parental strain also need to be tailored to the specific needs of racially and ethnically diverse parents of children with ADHD.

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