Learning Objective 1: identify the impact on family dysfunction in families of children with ADHD
Learning Objective 2: identify assessment techniques and need for referrals to prevent further family decline in families of children with ADHD.
Methods: A descriptive study design was used to assess ADHD and family dysfunction.
Results: Family dysfunction was calculated using the General Functioning Subscale of the McMaster Family Assessment Device (Byles, Byrne, Boyle, & Offord, 1988) Unhealthy families represented 30.4% (n = 7) of the comparison group and 43.8% (n = 14) of the ADHD group. T-test results indicated family functioning to be significantly different between the comparison families (M = 1.96, SD = .23), t (53) = 3.43, p = .001, and the ADHD families (M = 2.23, SD = .35). Families with children who screened positive for ADHD had higher levels of family dysfunction.
Conclusion: Children identified with behavioral characteristics which put them at risk for a diagnosis of ADHD should be targeted for early assessment and preventive intervention in an attempt to prevent further family decline. Earlier identification and intervention with these families may result in healthier family functioning and better child outcomes.