Sensory modulation disorder (SMD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can co-occur and have overlapping symptoms, thus challenging practitioners. This study aimed to phenotypically explore parent–child associations in SMD, and the interplay between SMD- and ADHD-related symptoms in children with SMD and their parents.
A cross-sectional study examined 70 parents (n = 35 mothers; n = 35 fathers) and their 35 children with and without SMD, aged 4–6 years. Parents completed care-giver reports: The Short Sensory Profile (SSP) and the ADHD Rating Scale, and self-reports: The Sensory Responsiveness Questionnaire (SRQ) and the ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS).
In the entire sample, we found a mother–offspring correlation between SSP and SRQ-Aversive scores (rs = −0.68; p < 0.001), but no such father–offspring correlation. However, when testing the ADHD Rating Scale and ASRS scores, we found correlations between mothers and offspring (rs = 0.54, p = 0.0008), and between fathers and offspring (rs = 0.34, p = 0.0494). In the entire sample a high correlation was found between SSP and ADHD Rating Scale scores (rs = −0.837, p < 0.001). We further found a high correlation in mothers (rs = 0.70, p < 0.001), and a moderate correlation in fathers (rs = 0.40, p = 0.019) between SRQ-Aversive and ASRS scores.
Novel findings reveal that parents–offspring heritability patterns differ in both these related conditions. These may contribute to familial practice and research.
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This work was performed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an OT M.Sc. degree
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We thank Dr. Lisa Deutsch for her statistical consultation.