Family characteristics of anxious ADHD children: Preliminary results

Hayden O. Kepley, Rick Ostrander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To investigate the family environments of children in a community sample with ADHD and co-occurring anxiety. Method: Family Environment Scale, Behavioral Assessment System for Children, and Structured Clinical Interview are administered to parents of children with ADHD with and without anxiety. Results: ADHD families are uniformly less cohesive and expressive and possess more conflict than families representing the community sample. In contrast to community or nonanxious ADHD families, anxious ADHD families do not encourage independence and tend to be distinctly less assertive, self-sufficient, and autonomous. Although anxious and nonanxious ADHD children tend to have a uniformly high incidence of maternal ADHD, mothers of anxious ADHD children tend to display a much higher incidence of substance/alcohol abuse than either nonanxious or community participants. Conclusion: Findings are consistent with the notion that an insular, dependent, and somewhat controlling family environment characterizes families of children with ADHD and comorbid childhood anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-323
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Comorbidity
  • Families

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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