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Loving Foster Homes Improve Kids' Attention, Impulsivity
Date:2/1/2010

n improved after the first year in a new placement. Both biological and foster parents confirmed this, although the same did not hold true in the classroom, suggesting that this is dependent on the setting.

Second, she said, "children whose parents reported higher parental warmth -- how much do the parents like the child, how much affection the parent reports towards the child, how much time they spend together -- showed fewer ADHD symptoms while children whose parents reported hostility -- being annoyed at the child, thinking the child a burden, being angry at the child -- showed more ADHD symptoms."

"What's encouraging is the rapid response in symptom reduction in response to non-hostile parenting styles," said Dr. Kathryn J. Kotrla, associate dean and chairwoman of psychiatry and behavioral science at the School of Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center Round Rock campus. "This makes one wonder about having more widespread education about parenting to have a significant impact on children."

The third finding was that children who were moved more frequently had more pronounced ADHD symptoms.

"And we're talking about symptoms associated with a disorder that has a proven biological component to it so it is important to understand that, even with these types of symptoms, the social environment of the child matters tremendously," Linares said.

She added that the findings could help welfare agencies pay more attention to selecting foster families, making sure the parents and children are a good match and providing better support for the foster parents.

More information

For more on ADHD, visit the National Institute of Mental Health.



SOURCES: Kathryn J. Kotrla, M.D., associate dean and chairwoman, psychiatry and
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