ADHD and Divorce

Divorce is More Likely For Parents of ADD/ADHD Children:

If any parent of an child with ADD/ADHD needed any more proof that this disorder strains the entire family, you need only read the latest study on the subject in the October issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

Thought to be the first study of its kind, the research revealed that parents who have a child with ADD/ADHD are twice as likely to be divorced by the time the child is 8 years old compared to those marriages in which the child doesn’t have the disorder.

The study discovered that those 23 percent of parents whose children had ADD/ADHD were likely to divorce compared to only 13 percent of couples whose children didn’t have the disorder.

Not only that, but the investigators also discovered that among the divorced couples, those whose families included children with ADD/ADHD experienced divorce sooner than those families who didn’t.

The lead author of the study, Brian T. Wymbs, who is completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pa., believes that this is the first study to examine “both parent and child factors individually” in regard to the rate and timing of divorce.

“Moreover, this is the only study,” he continued, “to demonstrate that the severity of the child’s disruptive behavior, specifically those with ODD [oppositional defiant disorder] or CD [conduct disorder], increases the risk of divorce.”

The study also revealed that among divorced couples who had children with ADD/ADHD, other characteristics appear to play a role in the decision to divorce. Among them include the age of the children when he was diagnosed, the ethnicity of the parents, as well as the severity of any disorders that have been diagnosed along with the ADD/ADHD, like ODD or CD.

Two additional factors also seem to influence the risk and rate of divorce: the level of education of the parents and the father’s “antisocial behavior”, such as any type of criminal background.

In fact, according to the study, this final factor is may also be the largest one. Another cause which may contribute to the high divorce rate was when the mother had a substantially less education than the fathers.

To view the entire article and read more on this study click here.

To learn about a comprehensive resource which can help you to get your child or teen’s ADD and ADHD on track, visit: ADHD Success.


Dr. Kenny

[tags] Divorce, ADD, ADHD, Parenting [/tags]


  1. I couldn’t believe what I was reading when I started my own ADHD research on ADHD treatments with prescription drugs for children.
    What I found out that the long-term effects of these prescription drugs for ADHD treatment we give our children there is no research out there to determine these long term effects! That means we are giving our children drugs we really don’t know what effect they will have on them later in life.
    To top t hat off, most Psychiatrists’ drug of choice for ADHD treatment are the Psycho-stimulants that not only have harsh side effects but only treat the symptoms, not the problem. The further I researched ADHD prescription treatments showed me that what they have determined in long term side effects so far, is that substance abuse problems and prescription drug addictions in adults are more common in people who took mind-alternating drugs like ADHD medications as children. Now that scares me.
    I have always been a firm believer in alternative medicine and have researched many and found a product that is FDA approved and works as a natural treatment for ADHD.
    Anyone interested in this product, go to

  2. I completely agree with you Connie. In fact, I just finished up a research paper on alternative ADHD treatments, most specifically…food. And in reply to the title of this blog, I think it is horrible to blame ADHD children for divorces. These children already have a hard life in front of them with uncontrolled behavioral issues, let alone be charged with their parents’ divorce. As I wrote in my paper, “When children lose focus they also lose concentration and become very forgetful. These children are unable to concentrate on their school work, fulfill assigned tasks and cooperate with their classmates. Once they disrupt their classmates and forget daily routines, they can completely alienate themselves. This causes further emotional stress leading to lack of motivation and despair”. I have also researched and spoken with a child psychologist about the effects nutrition has on ADHD and here are my findings, “According to Feingold, “perhaps 40 to 50 percent of hyperactive children are sensitive to artificial food colors, flavors, and preservatives” (Buresz). A children’s psychologist who works with teachers trying to combat ADHD also agreed, “many of my students have special diets that have been tailored to their needs by a nutritionist and parents who have tried different dietary restrictions like sugar, wheat, gluten, processed foods” (Divitto).

  3. Hi Kelly,
    It is sad when you think of all the children out there that are diagonosed with ADHD, put on a prescription medication that can harm them psychologically later in life, when the whole situation may come down to their diet. In my writings I always encourage parents to look at all the options out there for treating ADHD. There is a wealth of information for treating ADHD naturally. Mostly I have found that the natural approach is worth the parents time in research. Also, keeping in mind that putting the child on a daily schedule of their tasks helps put structure in their lives and to converse with their teachers for some one on one treatment when their behavior is in check. That all helps.
    Thanks for your response Kelly

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