ADHD & Spousal Support

ADHD & Female protective Effect

The excess of males with ADHD has been further confirmed by meta-analyses, with 4 times as many males as females thought to be affected (Catala-Lopez et al., 2012; Willcut, 2012).

Maternal Stress & Sex of to-be Child (Walsh et al., 2019)

Sex differences emerged consistent with heightened female adaptation to altered prenatal environmental conditions, which frequently is hypothesized as functioning to ensure survival (Sandman et al., 2013; Monk et al., 2019).

More social support was associated with higher odds of male to female births

Males are more vulnerable to in utero perturbations (Bale, 2016). The tendency for more PTBs among males (Zeitlin et al., 2002, 2004), and males’ increased risk for early neurodevelopmental disorders such as intellectual disability, autism, dyslexia, and ADHD (Sandman et al., 2013; Bale, 2016) and greater likelihood of telomere shortening (Bosquet Enlow et al., 2018) support this assertion.

Autism & Neurotypical Peers (Sasson et al., 2017)

“Negative first impressions of adults with ASD occurred only when audio and/or visual information was present, and not when the transcript of their speech content was evaluated (Study 1). This discrepancy suggests that social presentation style rather than the substantive content of social speech drove negative impression formation of individuals with ASD. Supporting this conclusion, a static image was sufficient for generating negative first impressions of those with ASD and including additional information, such as body movement or voice, did not worsen them further. In contrast, first impressions of TD controls improved with the addition of a visual information, suggesting that unlike the ASD group, visual cues helped rather than hurt the impressions they made on observers.”

Child’s Severe Illness — Maria Vaalavuo et al., 2022

An investigation into “the parental labor market responses to a child’s cancer diagnosis in Finland finds that child cancer has a negative impact on the labor income of both the mother and the father.

This effect is considerably larger for women, and therefore leads to an increase in gender inequality on top of the well-documented motherhood penalty related to childbirth.

However, mothers who are the main breadwinners in the family experience a smaller reduction in their contribution to household income.

Family Spillover Effects of Health Shocks

The strong connection between health and socioeconomic status has been well documented in prior research (e.g., Marmot et al. 1991; Bartley 2016). The association between the two is further complicated by the fact that a serious illness can have an impact beyond the person getting ill (García-Gómez et al., 2013; Jeon and Pohl, 2017; Fadlon and Nielsen, 2021). These so-called spillover effects can arise for different reasons. The affected may need special care at home from close family members when health conditions limit normal functioning. Furthermore, the health shock of a loved one can cause stress and anxiety and change how family members value time between work and leisure.

Spousal Care Work — Umberson et al., 2016

Heterosexual couples are more likely to divorce when a wife is seriously ill than when a husband is seriously ill (Karraker & Latham, 2015).

The majority of lesbians (but only a few gay & heterosexual couples) described an immersive response to the needs of their sick spouse.

Paternal Age & Offspring Disorders

The older the father is when having a child the higher the likelihood his offspring will have genetic mutations, the lower the likelihood they’ll reproduce, and the shorter their lifespan (Arslan et al., 2017; Kong et al., 2012; Pauline Vuarin et al., 2020).

Eating Disorders

The highest levels of morbidity and mortality rates compared to other mental disorders (Arcelus, Mitchell, Wales, & Nielsen, 2011; Herpertz-Dahlmann, 2009) and frequent self-harm (27.3% of eating-disordered patients were documented to have a lifetime history of non-suicidal self-injury) (Cucchi et al., 2016) are both outstanding features of EDs. According to a meta-analysis, standardized mortality rates were 5.86 for AN and 1.93 for BN (Arcelus et al., 2011). EDs carry a substantial burden for society and are related to lower employment rates and lower earnings; however, the low sample size typical for studies on EDs did not make these differences in earnings statistically significant (Samnaliev, Noh, Sonneville, & Austin, 2015). Nonetheless, EDs with comorbid disorders seem to generate even lower employment rates and lower earnings. The global disease burden of eating disorders increased by 65% between 1990 and 2016 (Erskine, Whiteford, & Pike, 2016).

Pollitt et al., 2022

For example, Ueno et al. (2009) found no differences in emotional closeness depending on LGB youth’s friends’ sexual orientation, and the benefit of higher-quality friendships for better mental health also did not differ. However, LGBTQ+ people may have different expectations for the quality of their friendships depending on sex and gender: lesbians have lower expectations for emotional closeness in their friendships with heterosexual men than gay men have for heterosexual women (Willis, 2014).


European Queens & Madam Vice President Kamala Harris (& Doug) (Dube & Harish, 2015)

An analysis of European rulers from 1480 to 1913 found an “asymmetry in how queens relied on male spouses and kings relied on female spouses [that] strengthened the relative capacity of queenly reigns” (Dube & Harish, 2015).

Support for a Distressed Spouse — Thomeer et al., 2021

Thomeer et al. (2021) investigated how same-sex & opposite-sex couples provide support when they perceive their spouse to be in distress.

Women with husbands “take over less of their husband’s tasks when he is distressed because he does fewer tasks to begin with” (Thomeer et al., 2021).

Indeed, men with wives do less housework than women with husbands, gay couples, & lesbian couples (Solomon et al., 2005). In contrast, women with wives took over more of their distressed spouse’s tasks than individuals in any other couple. Finally, men with wives “reported encouraging their distressed spouse to talk less often than all other respondent groups” (Thomeer et al., 2021).

same-sex couples generally took a more intentional approach (e.g., making the appointment for their spouse, working to convince spouse to take medications) whereas different-sex couples had a more “hands-off” strategy.

👶🏻Happy Wife = Create Life

“An unequal division of housework is associated with a decreased chance of first and subsequent births. One-child couples where the wife is less satisfied with the division of childcare are less likely to have a second child” (Dommermuth et al., 2017)

2nd Shift & Fertility Rates — Hwang & Kim, 2021

Husbands proportion of childcare on weekdays is positively associated with wives interest in having another child (Woosang Hwang & Seonghee Kim, 2021). Thus, increased effort by husbands would increase national fertility rates.

Same Sex Dyadic Stress — Song et al., 2022

Using an actor-partner interdependence mediation model (APIMeM), we analyzed data including a sample of 241 LGB couples (133 female and 108 male same-sex dyads). Results showed that perceived discrimination had no direct actor-partner effects on relationship satisfaction. APIMeM revealed significant indirect partner effects from perceived discrimination on both individuals’ and their partners’ relationship satisfaction through the partner’s dyadic stress.

Additionally, the effect of personal dyadic stress on a partner’s relationship satisfaction was stronger for lesbians compared to gays.

Copreneurial Family Businesses — Helmle et al., 2011

Communal coping reflects proactive behaviors that groups of people or dyads who face similar stressors use to cope together to confront adversity (Afi fi , Hutchinson, & Krouse, 2006; Lyons, Mickelson, Sullivan, & Coyne, 1998). Instead of viewing coping as a psychological and unidirectional phenomenon, communal coping entails conceptualizing coping as an interdependent process that is relational and interactive (Afi fi et al., 2006; Lyons et al., 1998). From a communal coping framework, a stressor is appraised and acted upon as “our problem and our responsibility” rather than as something to be managed alone (Lyons et al., 1998). Coping is co-constructed among people who are facing similar life stressors.

Primary Predictors of Dissolution

The primary predictors of marital dissolution tend to be domestic violence, conflict, infidelity, a weak commitment to marriage, and low levels of love and trust between spouses (Clements et al., 2004; DeMaris, 2000; Gottman & Levenson, 2000; Kurdek, 2002; Lawrence & Bradbury, 2001; Orbuch et al., 2002).

Email from Active Minds

As July and BIPOC Mental Health Month come to a close, I wanted to reach out with one important question that has been at the forefront of my mind: how can we continue the work of creating equitable access to mental health support and treatment beyond just this month? With organizations like Mental Health America and our partner the All of Us Research Program, we have an answer for you.

  • Black and African American people are less likely than white people to die from suicide at all ages. However, Black and African American teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide than white teenagers (9.8 percent vs. 6.1 percent).
  • Among BIPOC individuals who were screened for mental illness, multiracial people were the most likely to screen positive or at-risk for alcohol/substance use disorders, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and psychosis.
  • Native and Indigenous people were the most likely to screen positive or at-risk for bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.



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Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD

Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.