Maternal Dyadic Relationship Satisfaction as a Function of Child Hyperactivity and Conduct Problems: A Social-Cognitive Analysis

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This study investigated factors underlying the relationship satisfaction of mothers (N = 86) of children (age 6–12) exhibiting symptoms of ADHD. Hypotheses were derived from a social-cognitive model of interpersonal processes. Mothers reported their relationship satisfaction, attributions about negative events occurring to the child, and trait perceptions of and affective reactions to the child. Trait perceptions, attributions, and affect contributed independently to relationship satisfaction. Trait perceptions and affect fully mediated the association between relationship satisfaction and hyperactivity, and partial mediation occurred for conduct problems. Maternal relationship satisfaction was explained better by trait perceptions than by attributions, and better by conduct problems than hyperactivity. Results provide a “snapshot” of maternal reactions that have implications for treatment and future research.

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Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, v. 22, issue 6, p. 665-684