Research has shown that married parents with a child suffering from ADHD are almost twice as likely to get divorced by the time the child reaches the age of eight than couples whose children are not afflicted by the disorder. While it is common knowledge that kids with the condition can place a lot of strain on the parents, the study shows that this stress is carried over into the marriage of the parents too. Parents will want the best for their children, but deal with it in different ways, which is one way in which arguments can occur.
The fact that one of the parents may be in denial, may be a large contributing factor. Some people still feel that ADHD is a fad, as it was not around thirty years ago. They may see the child as naughty when they forget, daydream or when they are unable to follow directions. The parent who is in denial may also feel that the other parent is mollycoddling the child.
Parents have to agree on ways to handle the situation. Arguments between the parents may result in the child's behavior becoming worse. This can create a viscous cycle as the child's behavior deteriorates and the arguments between the parents escalate. That is how 25% of families end up in the divorce court.
Co-existing conditions and disorders along with the ADHD can increase the likelihood of divorce, including conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder. If the ADHD is causing arguments between the parents, it is a red light that shows that professional help is needed. Letting the condition run its course while letting the marriage fail will not help anyone, least of all the child.
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