Examining Parents’ Preferences for Group and Individual Parent Training for Children with ADHD Symptoms

Frances A. Wymbs, Charles E. Cunningham, Yvonne Chen, Heather M. Rimas, Ken Deal, Daniel A. Waschbusch, William E. Pelham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Parent training (PT) programs have been found to reduce some behavioral impairment associated with children's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as improve parenting competence, but poor uptake and participation by parents are formidable barriers that affect service effectiveness. We used a discrete-choice experiment (DCE) to examine how parent preferences for treatment format (i.e., group vs. individual) might influence their participation in PT. Participants were 445 parents seeking mental health services for children with elevated symptoms of ADHD in Ontario, Canada. Parents completed a DCE composed of 30 choice tasks used to gauge PT format preference. Results showed that 58.7% of parents preferred individual PT; these parents were most interested in interventions that would make them feel more informed about their child's problems and in understanding—as opposed to solving—their child's problems. A minority of parents (19.4%) preferred group PT; these parents were most interested in active, skill-building services that would help them solve their child's problems. About one fifth of parents (21.9%) preferred the Minimal Information alternative (i.e., receiving neither individual or group PT); these parents reported the highest levels of depression and the most severe mental health problems in their child. Results highlight the importance of considering parent preferences for format and suggest that alternative formats to standard PT should be considered for multiply stressed families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)614-631
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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