The purpose of this research was to update the Pelham and Fabiano (2008) review of evidence-based practices for children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. We completed a systematic review of the literature published between 2007 and 2013 to establish levels of evidence for psychosocial treatments for these youth.
Our review included the identification of relevant articles using criteria established by the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (see Southam-Gerow & Prinstein, in press) using keyword searches and a review of tables of contents. We extend the conceptualization of treatment research by differentiating training interventions from behavior management and by reviewing the growing literature on training interventions.
Consistent with the results of the previous review we conclude that behavioral parent training, behavioral classroom management, and behavioral peer interventions are well-established treatments.
In addition, organization training met the criteria for a well-established treatment. Combined training programs met criteria for Level 2 (Probably Efficacious), neurofeedback training met criteria for Level 3 (Possibly Efficacious), and cognitive training met criteria for Level 4 (Experimental Treatments).
The distinction between behavior management and training interventions provides a method for considering meaningful differences in the methods and possible mechanisms of action for treatments for these youth.
Characteristics of treatments, participants, and measures, as well as the variability in methods for classifying levels of evidence for treatments, are reviewed in relation to their potential effect on outcomes and conclusions about treatments. Implications of these findings for future science and practice are discussed.
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