ADHD and family life: A cross-sectional study of ADHD prevalence among pupils in China and factors associated with parental depression

Tao Lu, Longlong Li, Ying Tang, Gerard Leavey, Lakshit Jain (Editor)

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Background: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is increasingly recognized as a major problem for children and their families in China. However, its influence on parental mental health has been seldom explored. Objective: To examine the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in a community sample of children aged 6–13 years, and the extent to which it impacts parental mental health. Method: Cross-sectional study of primary school pupils (number = 2497) in Deyang, Sichuan Province, South-West China. We used standardized instruments to identify children with ADHD symptoms and parent depression. Results: The prevalence of ADHD was 9.8%. Factors associated with the likelihood of ADHD, included family environment(P = 0.003), time spent with children(P = 0.01), parenting style(P = 0.01), and parental relationship, pupils self-harm and lower academic ability (P = 0.001). After controlling for other factors, having a child with ADHD increased the likelihood of parents’ depression (OR = 4.35, CI = 2.68~7.07), additional factors included parent relationship. Conclusions: ADHD may be a common disorder among Chinese children, the symptoms of which may increase the likelihood of parent depression. There is a need for greater detection of ADHD in schools, acknowledgement of the challenges the disorder creates for academic success and family wellbeing, and psychoeducational tools for supporting parents of children with ADHD.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0281226
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Early online date14 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished online - 14 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Lu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Access Statement

We confirm that the database for the above study has been de-identified and can be accessed through Open Science Framework, a publicly available repository. DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/35N7D.


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