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The Family Social Environment and its Relation to ADHD Symptoms and Cognitive Performance in Children Born to Black Teenage Mothers

Lai, Yu-Hsuan (2022) The Family Social Environment and its Relation to ADHD Symptoms and Cognitive Performance in Children Born to Black Teenage Mothers. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Increasing rates of ADHD and cognitive impairment in US children are public health concerns. A better understanding of the role of the family environment in behavior and cognitive development is critical. Previous research focused on narrow aspects of the family environment, such as parenting practices. Little is known about the impact of the family social climate on ADHD symptoms and cognitive performance in children. This study aims to characterize the family social environment and assess its relation with ADHD symptoms and cognitive performance in children.
This study performed exploratory factor analysis to determine the underlying factors of the Family Relationship Index and Family Social Integration Index in the Family Environment Scale. These factors were then used as the primary exposures in the following analyses: to estimate the association between the factors identified and ADHD symptoms and cognitive performance over time using longitudinal modeling. Data were obtained from the Teen Mother Study of the Maternal Health Practices and Child Development project when the children were 6 and 10 years old. The sample included 179 Black teenage mothers and their children.
The first manuscript identified two factors—“Cohesion/ Expressiveness” and “Low Conflict”—from the Family Relationship Index and one factor—“Family Activity”—from the Family Social Integration Index. The second manuscript found that Cohesion/ Expressiveness and Family Activity were negatively associated with hyperactivity, inattention, impulsivity, and peer problems over time. The third manuscript found that Family Activity was positively associated with verbal reasoning, while Low Conflict was positively associated with short-term memory over time.
The current research focuses on the family social environment as a potential avenue for supporting children born to Black teenage mothers. For a comprehensive understanding of the effects of the family social environment on ADHD symptoms and cognitive performance in children, there should be additional studies with populations of various racial and ethnic backgrounds, larger sample sizes, and longitudinal follow-up. Future evaluation should assess the impact of family-based programs to better support children with or at risk of ADHD and cognitive impairment.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lai, Yu-Hsuanyul179@pitt.eduyul1790000-0002-7254-7617
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMendez, Dara D.ddm11@pitt.eduddm11
Committee MemberBrooks, Maria M.mbrooks@pitt.edumbrooks
Committee MemberDeGenna, Natacha
Committee MemberHawkins, Marquismarquis.hawkins@pitt.edumarquis.hawkins
Committee MemberPage, Lindsay
Date: 10 May 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 February 2022
Approval Date: 10 May 2022
Submission Date: 29 March 2022
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 115
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: family environment; ADHD; cognitive performance
Date Deposited: 10 May 2022 18:36
Last Modified: 10 May 2024 05:15


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