Children of Battered Parents More Likely to Have ADHD

Children of parents with depression more likely to be prescribed psychotropic meds later in life

Children of Battered Parents More Likely to Have ADHD

TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Children of parents reporting intimate partner violence (IPV) and depressive symptoms within the first three years of a child's life are significantly more likely to have a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Nerissa S. Bauer, M.D., M.P.H., from Indiana University in Indianapolis, and colleagues analyzed data from 2,422 children participating in a prospective cohort study that linked parental IPV and depression with subsequent billing and pharmacy data from Nov. 1, 2004, to June 7, 2012.

The researchers found that, before children were aged 3 years, 2.4, 2.8, and 29.1 percent, respectively, of caregivers reported IPV and depressive symptoms, IPV only, and depressive symptoms only, while 65.7 percent reported neither exposure. There was a significantly increased likelihood of a child having a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (adjusted odds ratio, 4.0) if their parents reported both IPV and depressive symptoms, even after adjustment for the child's sex, race/ethnicity, and insurance type. There was an increased likelihood for a child to have been prescribed psychotropic medication if their parents reported depressive symptoms (adjusted odds ratio, 1.9).

"Exposure to both IPV and depression before age 3 years is associated with preschool-aged onset of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; early exposure to parental depression is associated with being prescribed psychotropic medication," the authors write.

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