Objectives: The purpose of this study was to conduct a long-term, population-based, epidemiologic study of psychiatric disorders in mothers of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods: Subjects included mothers of 306 childhood incident cases of ADHD and mothers of 617 age/gender matched controls from a 1976–1982 birth cohort. Results: Compared to mothers of controls, mothers of children with ADHD were significantly more likely to be diagnosed prior to the child’s birth with a depressive disorder (adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 3.1; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.3–7.7), an adjustment disorder (aOR, 8.1; 95% CI, 1.7–39.5), or any psychiatric disorder (aOR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.61–4.7) and were likewise significantly more likely to be diagnosed with a de novo (i.e., first diagnosed after the child’s birth) depressive disorder (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR), 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2–2.4), de novo adjustment disorder (aHR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.4–2.7), or any de novo psychiatric disorder (aHR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.4–2.2) during the 21 years after the child’s birth. Conclusions: This study provides an opportunity to study the natural occurrence of psychiatric disorders in mothers of children with ADHD and suggests that the likelihood of having a child with ADHD is associated with maternal psychopathology both before and after the birth. This adds to existing knowledge of maternal psychopathology for children with ADHD and has implications for screening and monitoring. Future research is needed to clarify the role that both genetic and environmental risk factors play in the increased rates of psychopathology in mothers of children with ADHD.
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Birth cohort
- Maternal psychopathology
- Psychiatric disorders
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies