Handbook of Psychological Services for Children and Adolescents

By Jan N. Hughes; Annette M. La Greca et al. | Go to book overview

12
Treating Children and Adolescents with
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
ARTHUR D. ANASTOPOULOS
ERIKA E. KLINGER
E. PAIGE TEMPLE

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) is a condition characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity. Due to its pervasiveness across settings and its chronicity across development, AD/HD is one of the most common reasons why children and adolescents are referred to health care professionals for services. Unfortunately, the type of treatment that a child or adolescent with AD/HD might receive can be highly variable from one professional to the next. Such inconsistencies very often stem from differences in professional training, different levels of experience in working with AD/HD populations, and different beliefs about how child and adolescent psychopathology is conceptualized. Further complicating matters is that many clinicians do not routinely keep up with the research literature and therefore are unaware of which treatments have been empirically validated and which have not.

Given this state of affairs, the purpose of this chapter is to provide a critical review of the various treatments that are available for addressing AD/HD and its associated features. In order to make this review more meaningful, it is first necessary to provide some background information about AD/HD. Thus this chapter begins with a description of its defining features and of the criteria that are currently used to establish an AD/HD diagnosis. This is followed by a discussion of its prevalence, its developmental course, its clinical presentation, its impact on psychosocial functioning, and its associated features. Attention is then directed to recently proposed etiological conceptualizations. Against this background, many of the commonly used treatments for AD/HD are reviewed. Throughout this review, every effort is

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