A recent study showed that adult ADD or ADHD parents started on a stimulant (in this case Vyanse,a form of amphetamine), developed better parenting skills. In this study, they also had a child with ADD or ADHD, and the children’s behavior improved also, without medication.
Specifically, over several weeks, the parents increased their use of praise, become more verbally responsive, less negative, and less authoritarian, and the children improved.
How can we understand this? I think the meds helped the ADD parents function better, so they were less frustrated and less negative. Also, of course, the stimulants (ritalin and others) have some antidepressant effects. Then as the children’s behavior improved, the parents had even a more positive attitude towards them, so the children then improved more. Nice feedback loop. That’s a hypothesis.