Attachment Representations in Mothers and Their Children Diagnosed with ADHD

Distribution, Transmission and Impact on Treatment Outcome

Pernille Darling Rasmussen*, Niels Bilenberg, Yael Shmueli-Goetz, Erik Simonsen, Anders Bo Bojesen, Ole Jakob Storebø

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Little is known about the distribution and intergenerational transmission of attachment representations in ADHD populations and further how attachment may influence the prognosis of ADHD. In this study we aimed to investigate attachment distribution, intergenerational transmission and the potential impact of maternal and child attachment representations on treatment response in a sample of children with ADHD. Methods: Sixty mother-child dyads from families with offspring ADHD were recruited. Attachment representations were assessed with the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) and the Child Attachment Interview (CAI). ADHD symptom severity was assessed at four time points with the ADHD-Rating Scale. Results: Of the children, only 15% and among the mothers, only 23% were securely attached. Contrary to predictions, the association between maternal and child attachment representations (Secure versus Insecure) did not reach statistical significance as we found overall concordance rate to be 63% (kappa = −0.05). Neither child nor maternal attachment significantly predicted treatment response. Conclusions: In families with offspring ADHD, the prevalence of insecure attachment was remarkably high in the children as well as in the mothers. Intergenerational transmission of attachment was very low and in short-term follow up, attachment representations did not affect treatment outcome. Our findings support previous research in suggesting that the relationship between ADHD and Insecure attachment is complex. Nevertheless, the importance of considering attachment as a factor in the treatment, functional impairment and long term prognosis of children with ADHD remains.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume28
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1018-1028
ISSN1062-1024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1. Apr 2019

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ADHD
Mothers
Interviews
only child
statistical significance
rating scale
interview
dyad

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@article{db9f38d6a7224ebc931fb4100ce766b9,
title = "Attachment Representations in Mothers and Their Children Diagnosed with ADHD: Distribution, Transmission and Impact on Treatment Outcome",
abstract = "Objectives: Little is known about the distribution and intergenerational transmission of attachment representations in ADHD populations and further how attachment may influence the prognosis of ADHD. In this study we aimed to investigate attachment distribution, intergenerational transmission and the potential impact of maternal and child attachment representations on treatment response in a sample of children with ADHD. Methods: Sixty mother-child dyads from families with offspring ADHD were recruited. Attachment representations were assessed with the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) and the Child Attachment Interview (CAI). ADHD symptom severity was assessed at four time points with the ADHD-Rating Scale. Results: Of the children, only 15{\%} and among the mothers, only 23{\%} were securely attached. Contrary to predictions, the association between maternal and child attachment representations (Secure versus Insecure) did not reach statistical significance as we found overall concordance rate to be 63{\%} (kappa = −0.05). Neither child nor maternal attachment significantly predicted treatment response. Conclusions: In families with offspring ADHD, the prevalence of insecure attachment was remarkably high in the children as well as in the mothers. Intergenerational transmission of attachment was very low and in short-term follow up, attachment representations did not affect treatment outcome. Our findings support previous research in suggesting that the relationship between ADHD and Insecure attachment is complex. Nevertheless, the importance of considering attachment as a factor in the treatment, functional impairment and long term prognosis of children with ADHD remains.",
author = "{Darling Rasmussen}, Pernille and Niels Bilenberg and Yael Shmueli-Goetz and Erik Simonsen and Bojesen, {Anders Bo} and Storeb{\o}, {Ole Jakob}",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
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doi = "10.1007/s10826-019-01344-5",
language = "English",
volume = "28",
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journal = "Journal of Child and Family Studies",
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Attachment Representations in Mothers and Their Children Diagnosed with ADHD : Distribution, Transmission and Impact on Treatment Outcome. / Darling Rasmussen, Pernille; Bilenberg, Niels; Shmueli-Goetz, Yael; Simonsen, Erik; Bojesen, Anders Bo; Storebø, Ole Jakob.

In: Journal of Child and Family Studies, Vol. 28, No. 4, 01.04.2019, p. 1018-1028.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Attachment Representations in Mothers and Their Children Diagnosed with ADHD

T2 - Distribution, Transmission and Impact on Treatment Outcome

AU - Darling Rasmussen, Pernille

AU - Bilenberg, Niels

AU - Shmueli-Goetz, Yael

AU - Simonsen, Erik

AU - Bojesen, Anders Bo

AU - Storebø, Ole Jakob

PY - 2019/4/1

Y1 - 2019/4/1

N2 - Objectives: Little is known about the distribution and intergenerational transmission of attachment representations in ADHD populations and further how attachment may influence the prognosis of ADHD. In this study we aimed to investigate attachment distribution, intergenerational transmission and the potential impact of maternal and child attachment representations on treatment response in a sample of children with ADHD. Methods: Sixty mother-child dyads from families with offspring ADHD were recruited. Attachment representations were assessed with the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) and the Child Attachment Interview (CAI). ADHD symptom severity was assessed at four time points with the ADHD-Rating Scale. Results: Of the children, only 15% and among the mothers, only 23% were securely attached. Contrary to predictions, the association between maternal and child attachment representations (Secure versus Insecure) did not reach statistical significance as we found overall concordance rate to be 63% (kappa = −0.05). Neither child nor maternal attachment significantly predicted treatment response. Conclusions: In families with offspring ADHD, the prevalence of insecure attachment was remarkably high in the children as well as in the mothers. Intergenerational transmission of attachment was very low and in short-term follow up, attachment representations did not affect treatment outcome. Our findings support previous research in suggesting that the relationship between ADHD and Insecure attachment is complex. Nevertheless, the importance of considering attachment as a factor in the treatment, functional impairment and long term prognosis of children with ADHD remains.

AB - Objectives: Little is known about the distribution and intergenerational transmission of attachment representations in ADHD populations and further how attachment may influence the prognosis of ADHD. In this study we aimed to investigate attachment distribution, intergenerational transmission and the potential impact of maternal and child attachment representations on treatment response in a sample of children with ADHD. Methods: Sixty mother-child dyads from families with offspring ADHD were recruited. Attachment representations were assessed with the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) and the Child Attachment Interview (CAI). ADHD symptom severity was assessed at four time points with the ADHD-Rating Scale. Results: Of the children, only 15% and among the mothers, only 23% were securely attached. Contrary to predictions, the association between maternal and child attachment representations (Secure versus Insecure) did not reach statistical significance as we found overall concordance rate to be 63% (kappa = −0.05). Neither child nor maternal attachment significantly predicted treatment response. Conclusions: In families with offspring ADHD, the prevalence of insecure attachment was remarkably high in the children as well as in the mothers. Intergenerational transmission of attachment was very low and in short-term follow up, attachment representations did not affect treatment outcome. Our findings support previous research in suggesting that the relationship between ADHD and Insecure attachment is complex. Nevertheless, the importance of considering attachment as a factor in the treatment, functional impairment and long term prognosis of children with ADHD remains.

U2 - 10.1007/s10826-019-01344-5

DO - 10.1007/s10826-019-01344-5

M3 - Journal article

VL - 28

SP - 1018

EP - 1028

JO - Journal of Child and Family Studies

JF - Journal of Child and Family Studies

SN - 1062-1024

IS - 4

ER -