Background: Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a multi-factorial condition, with inheritance playing a major role. Recognizing parents’ ADHD represents a clue not only for an earlier diagnosis of the disease in their children, but also to optimize psycho-educational therapy outcome, by addressing the impairment of parenting related to untreated ADHD. This study aimed to assess the frequency of features suggestive of ADHD during childhood among parents of affected children, and the presence of school and emotional impairment.
Methods: We administered the Wender Utah Rating Scale-25, a self-assessment tool for the retrospective identification of symptoms consistent with ADHD during childhood, to a cohort of 120 parents of 60 children diagnosed with ADHD, and to a consistent number of “controls”.
Results: The WURS-25 proved positive in 49.1% of fathers and 30.0% of mothers of ADHD patients, compared to 1.7% of fathers and 1.7% of mothers of non-ADHD patients (p < 0.0001).
The questions addressing learning and emotional impairment provided significantly higher scores in parents with an overall positive test compared to those with negative test (p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: This study demonstrates a remarkably high rate of symptoms consistent with ADHD during childhood in parents of affected children. Physicians should be aware that this is a relevant anamnestic clue and, given the relevance of parents’ role in the management of children with ADHD, an important issue in order to improve patients’ treatment.