Non-medicinal interventions are highly effective in preventing the behavioral and academic problems associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to a five-year study led by researchers at Lehigh Universitys College of Education.
The study, titled Project Achieve and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), was the largest of its kind focusing on children aged 3 to 5 who have shown significant symptoms of ADHD. It also involved researchers from Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa.
The researchers, led by George DuPaul, professor of school psychology at Lehigh; Lee Kern, professor of special education at Lehigh; and Dr. John Van Brakle, chair of the pediatrics department at Lehigh Valley Hospital, studied 135 preschool students with ADHD symptoms. They evaluated the effectiveness of early intervention techniques in helping children decrease defiant behavior and aggression, while improving academic and social skills.
The studys results are reported in a special series on ADHD in the most recent issue of School Psychology Review. Published by the National Association of School Psychologists, the quarterly is the worlds second-largest peer-reviewed psychology journal.
Early identification and intervention are essential, but there has been a lack of research on how to identify and intervene effectively with these children during their preschool years, said Thomas Power, editor of the journal and program director with the Center for Management of ADHD at The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia.
The investigation by Kern, DuPaul and their colleagues is the most ambitious study ever conducted of non-pharmacological, psychosocial interventions for young children with ADHD.
The results were significant. Using a variety of early intervention strategies, parents reported, on average, a 17-percent decrease in aggression and a 21-percent improvement in their childrens soc
|Contact: Tom Yencho|