Recent studies of gene-environment interplay in psychiatric disorders have highlighted the complex relationship between genetic and environmental influences. Most published studies on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have focused on prenatal biological 'environmental pathogens', and less attention has been paid to the post-natal social environment. This article provides a brief review of the recent interaction and correlation findings between genes and the social environment in relation to ADHD. Some trends have been identified: (1) synergistic gene-environment interactions (GxE) where adverse social factors increase the risk of expression of putative gene alleles, and (2) antagonistic GxE where favourable social factors attenuate the genetic risks. Where possible, the importance of parenting and its implied relevance to 'resilience' is highlighted.