ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 6, Issue 4, 313-329, 2015
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Mother-Child Interpersonal Dynamics: The Influence of Maternal and Child ADHD Symptoms

  Elizabeth Nilsen - Psychology Department, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
  Ivana Ivana - Psychology Department, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
  Nicole Ethier - Psychology Department, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Volume 6, Issue 4, 2015, Pages 313-329

The relations between maternal and child ADHD symptoms and interpersonal behaviour were examined. Motherchild dyads (N = 59), with children 8- to 12-years-old, exhibiting a range of ADHD symptoms, participated in a problem-solving task. Participants’ interpersonal behaviours (along continuums of affiliation: friendliness-hostility and control: dominance-submissiveness) were coded on a continuous moment-to-moment basis, as the interaction unfolded, using a joystick technique. Elevated ADHD symptoms, in both mothers and children, were associated with less overall affiliative interpersonal behaviour. Further, while dyads generally showed complementary behaviour, dyads in which the child had elevated ADHD symptoms demonstrated less complementarity on the affiliation dimension. Finally, the higher the child’s ADHD symptoms, the less affiliative and less dominant the mother became over the course of the interaction. Findings highlight ways in which individual differences in ADHD behaviour impact interpersonal functioning and have implications for interventions aimed at enhancing parent-child relationships.

Table of Contents
  ADHD questionnaires.
  Negative affect.
  Mother-child interpersonal behaviour.
 Preliminary Analyses
 ADHD Symptomatology and Interpersonal Behaviour
 ADHD and Interpersonal Complementarity
 ADHD and Change over Time in Interpersonal Behaviour

Correspondence to
E. Nilsen , Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 3G1.

ADHD; interpersonal circumplex; interpersonal complementarity; parent-child interactions; joystick, reciprocal interactions, dyadic analyses

Received 5 Feb 2015; Revised 23 Apr 2015; Accepted 28 Apr 2015; In Press 30 Dec 2015

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