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OBJECTIVE - To study the independent association of parental depression and ADHD on three dimensions of child psychopathology among 178 children aged 5 to 10 years.
METHOD - Self-reported measures of parental depression and ADHD as well as rating scales and structure diagnostic interviews of child internalizing, ADHD, and externalizing problems were obtained.
RESULTS - Structural equation modeling indicated that parental ADHD was positively associated with a broad child problems factor after a second-order factor of child problems best accounted for the high intercorrelations among the internalizing, ADHD, and externalizing child psychopathology factors. Parental depression did not significantly predict the second-order child problems factor, but it specifically predicted the child internalizing factor.
CONCLUSION - These results suggest that parental ADHD may be a nonspecific risk factor for child psychopathology broadly, whereas parental depression may function as a specific risk factor for child internalizing problems.