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Arch Fam Med. 2000 Feb;9(2):191-4.

Improving social adjustment in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Author information

1
Family Care Center, Franklin, LA 70538, USA. buckylou2@aol.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine if sending motivational letters would improve peer relations in children with social maladjustment and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

DESIGN:

From a consecutive sample, a case series was followed up for 2 years.

SETTING:

Primary care, private physician, office-based practice.

PATIENTS:

Ninety-five children diagnosed as having ADHD by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria made up the consecutive sample. Twenty-one children qualified with a comorbid social maladjustment disorder with baseline t scores of 1.5 SDs or greater above the mean on the asocial domain of the Conners' Teacher Rating Scale. Seventeen children completed the study. There were no significant differences between these patients and those who did not complete the study (P = .55 for baseline score differences and P = .85 for age).

INTERVENTIONS:

In addition to conventional therapy for ADHD when children achieved a goal, such as an improved report card or better conduct, a personal letter about their success was mailed to them. Letters averaged 5 per student per year.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The asocial domain of the Conners' Teacher Rating Scale was repeated during the next 2 school years for comparison. Statistical analysis was by a repeated-measures analysis of variance and Helmert contrasts.

RESULTS:

Of 17 students who completed the study, 16 improved on the Conners' Teacher Rating Scale asocial domain, and the results were statistically significant (P<.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Difficulties with peer relations are commonly seen in children with ADHD. Sending motivational letters correlated with improved social adjustment in these children. The data suggest that busy practitioners might consider incorporating this successful, and time-efficient, intervention into their ADHD treatment regimens.

PMID:
10693738
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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