Persistent ADHD associated with overly critical parents: High levels of criticism over time related to continuation of symptoms, study says -- ScienceDailyParents were asked to talk about their relationship with their child uninterrupted for five minutes. Audio recordings of these sessions were then rated by experts for levels of criticism (harsh, negative statements about the child, rather than the child's behavior) and emotional over-involvement (overprotective feelings toward the child). Measurements were taken on two occasions one year apart. Only sustained parental criticism (high levels at both measurements, not just one) was associated with the continuance of ADHD symptoms in the children who had been diagnosed with ADHD. "The novel finding here is that children with ADHD whose families continued to express high levels of criticism over time failed to experience the usual decline in symptoms with age and instead maintained persistent, high levels of ADHD symptoms," said Musser.