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J Atten Disord. 2015 Feb;19(2):118-24. doi: 10.1177/1087054713504135. Epub 2013 Sep 26.

Meta-analysis: parental interventions for preschool ADHD.

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  • 1Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
  • 2Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA



Although psychostimulants are commonly utilized to treat preschoolers with ADHD, side effects and parental preferences limit their use in younger children. The current meta-analysis examines the efficacy of parent interventions for the treatment of ADHD in preschoolers.


We searched PubMed and the Cochrane Library for randomized, controlled trials comparing behavioral interventions for preschool children with ADHD. Our primary outcome measure was mean improvement in an ADHD rating scale compared with control conditions.


Eight trials were included in the final analysis, totaling 399 participants. There was a significant benefit of parental behavioral interventions compared with control conditions (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.61, 95% confidence interval = [0.40, 0.83], z = 5.6, p < .001).


The present meta-analysis provides preliminary evidence that parental interventions are an efficacious treatment for preschool ADHD. Future research is needed to compare the relative efficacy of parental interventions for ADHD with medication management and to determine if the combination of parental training and medication management is more effective than either condition alone.

© 2013 SAGE Publications.


attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; behavior therapies; meta-analysis; parent training; preschool children

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