ADHD Home > Relationships and ADHD
Relationships and ADHD can be a tricky combination to handle. Peer relationships contribute to children's immediate happiness and may be very important to their long-term development. However, research suggests that children with ADHD often have difficulty in these relationships. Not everyone with ADHD has difficulty getting along with others, but for those who do, many things can be done to improve the child's relationships, such as peer programs and good communication with teachers and coaches.
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can have many effects on a child's development. It can make childhood friendships (peer relationships) very difficult. These relationships contribute to children's immediate happiness and may be very important to their long-term development.
Research suggests that children with ADHD often have difficulty in their peer relationships (for example, being rejected by peers or not having close friends). In some cases, children with peer problems may also be at higher risk for anxiety, behavioral and mood disorders, substance abuse, and delinquency as teenagers.
Parents of children with ADHD may be less likely to report that their child plays with groups of friends or is involved in after-school activities, and half as likely to report that their child has many good friends. Parents of children with ADHD may be more than twice as likely as other parents to report that their child is picked on at school or has trouble getting along with other children.
Exactly how ADHD contributes to social problems is not fully understood. Several studies have found that children with predominantly inattentive ADHD (formally known as ADD) may be perceived as shy or withdrawn by their peers. Research strongly indicates that aggressive behavior in children with symptoms of impulsivity/hyperactivity may play a significant role in peer rejection. In addition, other behavioral disorders often occur along with ADHD. Children with ADHD and other disorders appear to face greater impairments in their relationships with peers.