Event: Undergraduate Research Symposium
Date: May 18, 2019
Location: UCI Student Center
Presenters: Yunke Zeng, Shushi Yao
Mentor: Susanne Jaeggi
Title: How do Parent ADHD Symptoms Influence Child Persistence, Motivation, and Mindset?
ADHD is one of the most common and hereditary neurodevelopmental disorders. Roughly one-fourth to one-half of parents of children with ADHD have ADHD themselves. Parents’ own ADHD symptoms may be a major factor contributing to their children’s ADHD. This study explores the relations among parent ADHD symptoms and child persistence and mindset. For this study, 124 participants were recruited: 62 children diagnosed with ADHD, aged 7–14 years, and their parents. The Conners’ Adult ADHD Rating Scale was used to measure the presence and severity of ADHD symptoms in parents, and children’s persistence was evaluated with a spatial and a verbal persistent task. In both persistence tasks, children completed easy problems then more difficult problems before being asked to make a selection between another easy or hard task. Their choice was taken as an indicator of persistence. Furthermore, children’s mindsets were measured by the Theories of Intelligence Survey. To test our hypothesis that parental ADHD symptoms would be associated with reduced persistence and more of a fixed mindset, participants were divided into two groups using a median split analysis. T-tests revealed no significant difference between children of parents with lower ADHD symptoms and children of parents with higher ADHD symptoms on the spatial persistence task (p=0.34), verbal persistence (p=0.36) task, and mindset questionnaire t (p=0.31). These findings suggest that children with ADHD whose parents also have ADHD may not be at a greater disadvantage as compared to children with ADHD whose parents do not have ADHD.