The Impact of ADHD on Maternal Quality of Life

Jennifer Piscitello, Amy R. Altszuler, Jessica Robb Mazzant, Dara E. Babinski, Elizabeth M. Gnagy, Timothy F. Page, Brooke S.G. Molina, William E. Pelham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with substantial burden to caregiver quality of life (QoL). However, a paucity of work has focused on quantifying QoL among caregivers of adolescents with a history of ADHD. The purpose of the current study was (1) to quantify maternal QoL in a sample of mothers of adolescents with and without childhood ADHD; and (2) to examine predictors (i.e., parent and child characteristics and behavior) associated with maternal QoL. Participants included mothers of adolescents with (N = 110) and without ADHD (N = 90) ranging in age from 13 to 18 (M = 16.09, 92% male). The Quality Adjusted Life-Year (QALY) was used to calculate maternal QoL using two health domains (i.e., anxiety/depression and disruption in daily activities) commonly impacted by raising youth with ADHD. QALYs are valued monetarily to estimate disease burden. Mothers of adolescents with childhood ADHD experienced significantly worse QoL relative to mothers in the comparison group. Maternal depression, as well as adolescent age, ADHD status, and discipline problems significantly predicted lower levels of maternal QALY health status index, with ADHD being the strongest predictor. This is equal to a reduction in 1.96 QALYs when summed over the course of a child’s lifetime and is associated with a loss of $98,000 to $196,000. Results of the investigation help to further elucidate the health impacts incurred by families of adolescents with ADHD and have important public health implications. Further, parental QoL should be considered when conceptualizing the financial and negative health impact of ADHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1275-1288
Number of pages14
JournalResearch on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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