ADHD & Spousal Support
About 58% of non-ADHD men left their ADHD wives whereas only 10% of non-ADHD women left their ADHD husbands
“Wymbs and Molina (2015) reported that 67% of the adults with ADHD in their sample had partners with clinically-significant ADHD symptoms… suggesting that ADHD adults select ADHD lovers at rates far above chance” (Steele et al., 2022).
Minde et al. (2003) found that 58.33% of non-ADHD men left their ADHD wives whereas only 10% of non-ADHD women left their ADHD husbands.
This suggests that women have been socialized to be more supportive of their spouse than men.
Previous Article on Mental Health Courtship
Table of Contents
☆☆☆☆ Call 988 — https://988lifeline.org/ ☆☆☆☆
· Child’s Severe Illness — Maria Vaalavuo et al., 2022
∘ Family Spillover Effects of Health Shocks
· Spousal Care Work — Umberson et al., 2016
∘ Grieving a Grandparent
· Paternal Age & Offspring Disorders
· Eating Disorders
👶🏻Happy Wife = Create Life ∘ 2nd Shift & Fertility — Hwang & Kim, 2021
· Same Sex Dyadic Stress — Song et al., 2022
· Copreneurial Family Businesses — Helmle et al., 2011
· Primary Predictors of Dissolution
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).
A number of twin studies have established that ADHD is among the most heritable of neuropsychiatric conditions (Levy et al., 1997; Sherman et al., 1997; Polderman et al., 2007; Greven et al., 2011; Larsson et al., 2012).
Females require greater exposure than males to genetic & environmental factors associated with ADHD to display sufficient symptoms to warrant diagnosis (Taylor et al., 2016).
For example, the fraternal cotwins of females displaying a high degree of autistic traits displayed more autistic traits than did cotwins of males with high degrees of autistic traits, and were also more likely to display high scores themselves (Robinson et al., 2013).
Taylor, M. J., Lichtenstein, P., Larsson, H., Anckarsäter, H., Greven, C. U., & Ronald, A. (2016). Is there a female protective effect against attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder? Evidence from two representative twin samples. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 55(6), 504–512.
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.
“The womb may be more important than the home” for offspring’s future health (Kim et al., 2015; Bale et al., 2010; Barker, 1995). The in utero environment influences fetal neurodevelopment (Bronson & Bale, 2016), birth outcomes (Morgan, 2016), and even the secondary sex ratio (SSR) or the ratio of males to females born (Orzack, 2015).
Although many fetuses appear resilient to stress effects, prospective longitudinal research suggests that pregnant women in the top 15% for prenatal anxiety and depression have offspring with an estimated 2-fold increased risk for a mental disorder (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] or anxiety), and this effect extends from childhood through adolescence (O’Donnell et al., 2014).
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.”
Call 988 — https://988lifeline.org/
The gender difference has increased over time for depression (Salk et al., 2017).
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.
Advances in gender equality have taken place both in the labor market and at home, while women continue to suffer from poorer labor market outcomes and to contribute more to unpaid work within the household (Bianchi et al., 2000; Sevilla-Sanz et al., 2010; Goldin, 2014; Blau and Kahn, 2017). The literature on the motherhood penalty has shown that childbirth affects the mother’s income trajectory more than the father’s and increases within-couple gender inequality (Sani, 2015; Kleven et al., 2019a; Musick et al., 2020).
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.
The spillover effects are expected to be of a gendered nature as women traditionally carry the greatest burden of informal care (Bracke et al., 2008), while the institutional and cultural context is likely to affect the magnitude of the spillover effects as well as their relevance for gender inequality (Fuwa, 2004; Kleven et al., 2019).
Recent studies exploiting Nordic administrative data suggest that children’s health shocks have a clearly larger impact on mothers than on fathers, both in terms of employment and psychological well-being Breivik and Costa-Ramón (2022); Eriksen et al. (2021). Moreover, Lavelle et al. (2014) found that having a sick child is associated with worse health outcomes than having a parent or a spouse with the same conditions.
Additionally, older age of the child at cancer diagnosis and less severe cancer type potentially protect against gendered responses. These new insights provide evidence on gender roles when a child falls ill and show how child health affects gender inequality in two-parent households.”
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.
Lesbians & most heterosexual women described their own and their spouse’s illness in ways that suggested an immersive experience.
The vast majority of the gay & straight men talked about illness experiences in ways that minimized their own and their spouse’s illness concerns.
Discordant illness perspectives were more common in opposite-sex than same-sex marriages, with heterosexual men typically adopting a minimization frame and heterosexual women an immersion frame.
Cultural norms of masculinity limit men’s personal healthcare practices (e.g., men are less likely to comply with medical advice or visit a doctor) (Courtenay, 2000). As such, straight men are more likely to ignore their own physical symptoms & resist formal healthcare (Courtenay, 2000; García-Calvente et al., 2012). Thus, women do more work to monitor and improve their spouse’s health habits within heterosexual marriages (Reczek & Umberson, 2012), and women provide more emotional support and physical care for an ill spouse & experience more stress from providing this care (Pinquart & Sorensen, 2006; Thomeer et al., 2015).
Care providers sometimes described how they made an effort to hide their own stress from the patient. This was described by lesbian and heterosexual women but not by any of the gay or heterosexual men.
Grieving a Grandparent
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).
High paternal age increases “offspring risk of developing neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism (Kong et al., 2012) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (D’Onofrio et al., 2014), and also lower physical attractiveness (Huber & Fieder, 2014; Woodley of Menie and Kanazawa, 2017)” (Michael Anthony Woodley of Menie, Yr. et al., 2017).
‘Single fathers were twice as likely to report poor self-rated health and mental health as single mothers, but were only half as likely to access health services’ (Chiu et al., 2018, 115).”
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).
Specifically, “queens often put their spouses in charge of official state matters. This division of labor would then have freed up time and resources for queens.” Conversely, “kings typically were less inclined to put their spouses in official positions through which they could aid in managing the polity.”
More Spousal Support = More Success 💁🏻♀️
The outcome of this “greater division of labor under queenly reigns” was associated with greater success for her country, “allowing queens to not only be more invested but also more successful than their peers who acted alone” (Tanya Basu, 2016).
As such, Vice President Kamala Harris may be more successful than all previous VPs as she may delegate her husband Doug to more tasks than all previous VPs ever delegated their spouses.
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).
There was a lack of gender differences when comparing men and women across same-sex couples, in sharp contrast to the gender differences found within different-sex couples, a finding that is consistent with previous studies (Prickett et al., 2015; Reczek et al., 2020), [because] men and women in same-sex relationships draw on more diverse constructions of gender and have less power-based divisions (Goldberg & Smith, 2013).
A recent study (Reczek et al., 2020) considering when and how spouses encourage each other to seek professional help for psychological distress and other mental health issues found that
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.
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.
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.
Communal coping can have positive and negative consequences. It typically is an effective way of coping because the collective and proactive nature of communal coping builds coping efficacy and resilience (Afi fi et al., 2006; Hobfoll, Schroder, & Malek, 2002; Lyons et al., 1998). Communal coping can be harmful when stress contagion effects occur or when people talk about their stress too much (i.e., verbal rumination) to each other.
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.
As with many health conditions, race matters when it comes to mental illness. For example, statistics show that:
- 16 percent (4.8 million) of Black and African American people reported having a mental illness, and 22.4 percent of those (1.1 million people) reported a serious mental illness over the past year.
- 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.
In an effort to raise awareness for equitable mental health care, we are proud to partner with the All of Us Research Program, a historic effort by the National Institutes of Health to engage a million or more people from diverse communities throughout the United States in research to transform the future of health for all — including BIPOC communities.
Currently, All of Us provides researchers with health and other data from more than 513,000 program participants, including 42.5% who identify as a member of a BIPOC community. The goal is to help researchers uncover patterns of health and illness — including mental illness — so they can better understand why some people get sick or stay healthy.
Please join us in celebrating BIPOC Mental Health Month and join All of Us to help create a healthier future for all.
Founder and Executive Director, Active Minds