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Does methylphenidate normalize the classroom performance of children with attention deficit disorder?

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  • 1School Psychology Program, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015.


The present study examined the degree to which methylphenidate (MPH) normalized the classroom behavior and academic functioning of 31 children with attention deficit disorder (ADD). Subjects with ADD participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which children received each of four doses (5, 10, 15, and 20 mg) of MPH and a placebo following baseline measures. Children with ADD were compared with a group of 25 normal control children on teacher ratings of social conduct, direct observations of on-task behavior, and academic efficiency. At a group level of analysis, MPH exerted a significant effect on classroom measures of attention and academic efficiency to a point where they were no longer statistically deviant from scores obtained by normal control children. Nevertheless, when examined at the individual level, 25% of the sample failed to show normalized levels of classroom performance, thus implying the need for ancillary school-based interventions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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