Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Steven G. LittleEmail author
  • Margaret T. Gopaul
  • Angeleque Akin-Little


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is believed to be the most frequently diagnosed childhood mental health disorder in the world (Furman, 2005). A recent meta-analysis investigating worldwide ADHD prevalence in children age 18 and under found an overall pooled estimate of 7.2% (Thomas, Sanders, Doust, Beller, & Glasziou, 2015). The prevalence rate in the USA is even higher. Pastor, Reuben, Duran, and Hawkins (2015) found that 9.5% of children in the USA aged 4–17 years had been diagnosed with ADHD. That means that approximately two million children in the USA exhibit symptoms of ADHD, ADHD ranks first in terms of referrals to primary care physicians (Barkley, 2006), and ADHD presents a significant challenge to educational systems (Forness & Kavale, 2002).


ADHD Inattention Hyperactivity ADHD screening ADHD assessment ADHD psychoeducation ADHD intervention Psychopharmacology 


  1. Abikoff, H. B., Thompson, M., Laver-Bradbury, C., Long, N., Forehand, R. L., Miller Brotman, L., … Sonuga-Barke, E. (2015). Parent training for preschool ADHD: A randomized controlled trial of specialized and generic programs. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56, 618–631. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Achenbach, T. (2001). Child behavior checklist for ages 6-18. Burlington, VT: ASEBA, University of Vermont.Google Scholar
  3. Adler, L. A., Spencer, T., Faraone, S. V., Kessler, R. C., Howes, M. J., Biederman, J., & Secnik, K. (2006). Validity of pilot adult ADHD self-report scale (ASRS) to rate adult ADHD symptoms. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry., 18, 145–148. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2001). Clinical practice guidelines: Treatment of the school aged child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatrics, 108, 1033–1044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2011). ADHD: Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in children and adolescent. Pediatrics, 128, 1007–1022. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed., text revision). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  7. Bai, G., Wang, Y., Yang, L., & Niu, W. (2015). Effectiveness of a focused, brief psychoeducation program for parents of ADHD children: Improvement of medication adherence and symptoms. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 11, 2721–2735.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Barkley, R. A. (2006). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  9. Barkley, R. A. (2011). The Barkley deficits in executive functioning scale for adults. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  10. Barkley, R. A. (2012a). The Barkley deficits in executive functioning scale—Children and adolescents. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  11. Barkley, R. A. (2012b). The Barkley functional impairment scale—Children and adolescents. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  12. Barkley, R. A. (2013). Taking charge of ADHD, revised edition: The complete, authoritative guide for parents. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  13. Barkley, R. A. (2016). When an adult you love has ADHD: Professional advice for parents, partners, and siblings. Washington, DC: APA Books.Google Scholar
  14. Barkley, R. A., & Murphy, K. R. (2006). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A clinical workbook (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  15. Brown, T. E. (2001). Brown attention-deficit disorder scales. San Antonio: Pearson Assessment.Google Scholar
  16. Charach, A., Dashti, B., Carson, P., Booker, L., Lim, C. G., Lillie, E., … Schachar, R. (2011). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Effectiveness of treatment in at-risk preschoolers; long-term effectiveness in all ages; and variability in prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.Google Scholar
  17. Conners, C. K. (2001). Development of the CRS-R. In C. K. Conners (Ed.), Conners’ rating scales-revised. North Tonawanda, NY: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  18. Conners, C. K. (2014). Conners continuous performance test (3rd ed.). North Tonawanda, NY: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  19. Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  20. Daley, D., & O’Brien, M. (2013). A small-scale randomized controlled trial of the self-help version of the New Forest Parent Training Programme for children with ADHD symptoms. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 22, 543–552. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Döpfner, M., Breuer, D., Wille, N., Erhart, M., Ravens-Sieberer, U., & BELLA Study Group. (2008). How often do children meet ICD-10/DSM-IV criteria of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder? Parent-based prevalence rates in a national sample: Results of the BELLA study. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 17, 59–70. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. DuPaul, G. J., Power, T. J., Anastopoulos, A. D., & Reid, R. (2016). ADHD Rating Scale--5 for children and adolescents: Checklists, norms, and clinical interpretation (Revised Edition). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  23. Eddy, L. D., Canu, W. H., Broman-Fulks, J. J., & Michael, K. D. (2015). Brief cognitive behavioral therapy for college students with ADHD: A case series report. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 22, 127–140. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ferrin, M., Moreno-Granados, J. M., Salcedo-Marin, M. D., Ruiz-Veguilla, M., Perez-Ayala, V., & Taylor, E. (2014). Evaluation of a psychoeducation programme for parents of children and adolescents with ADHD: Immediate and long-term effects using a blind randomized controlled trial. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 23, 637–647. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Forness, S., & Kavale, K. (2002). Impact of ADHD on school systems. In P. Jensen & J. Gooper (Eds.), Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: State of the science practices (pp. 24-1–24-20). Kingston, NJ: Givic Research Institute.Google Scholar
  26. Funderburk, B. W., & Eyberg, S. (2011). Parent-child interaction therapy. In J. C. Norcross & D. K. Freedheim (Eds.), History of psychotherapy: Continuity and change (2nd ed., pp. 415–420). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Furman, L. (2005). What is attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Journal of Child Neurology, 20, 994–1003. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Gioia, G. A., Isquith, P. K., Guy, S. C., & Kenworthy, L. (2000). BRIEF: Behavior rating inventory of executive function: Professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc..Google Scholar
  29. Handler, M. W., & DuPaul, G. J. (2005). Assessment of ADHD: Differences across psychology specialty areas. Journal of Attention Disorders, 9, 402–412. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Harrison, P., & Oakland, T. (2017). Adaptive behavior assessment system, Third Edition (ABAS). Torrance, CA: WPS.Google Scholar
  31. Hodgson, K., Hutchinson, A. D., & Denson, L. (2014). Nonpharmacological treatments for ADHD: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Attention Disorders, 18, 275–282. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. International Narcotics Control Board. (2015). Annual report. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
  33. Kim, Y., & Chang, H. (2011). Correlation between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sugar consumption, quality of diet, and dietary behavior in school children. Nutrition Research and Practice, 5, 236–245. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. Kirkhaug, B., Drugli, M. B., Handegård, B. H., Lydersen, S., Åsheim, M., & Fossum, S. (2016). Does the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Training programme have positive effects for young children exhibiting severe externalizing problems in school?: A quasi-experimental pre-post study. BMC Psychiatry, 16, 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Klingberg, T., Fernell, E., Olesen, P. J., Johnson, M., Gustafsson, P., Dahlström, K., … Westerberg, H. (2005). Computerized training of working memory in children with ADHD—A randomized, controlled trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 44, 177–186. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Leark, R. A., Greenberg, L. M., Kindschi, C. L., Dupuy, T. R., & Hughes, S. J. (2007). Test of variables of attention continuous performance. Los Alamitos, CA: The Tova Company.Google Scholar
  37. Leslie, L. K. (2002). The role of primary care physicians in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Pediatric Annuls, 31, 475–484. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. NICE. (2008). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Diagnosis and management. Retrieved from
  39. Page, T. F., Pelham, W. E., III, Fabiano, G. A., Greiner, A. R., Gnagy, E. M., Hart, K. C., … Pelham, W. E., Jr. (2016). Comparative cost analysis of sequential, adaptive, behavioral, pharmacological, and combined treatments for childhood ADHD. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 45, 416–427. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. Pastor, P. N., Reuben, C. R., Duran, C. R., & Hawkins, L. D. (2015). Association between diagnosed ADHD and selected characteristics among children aged 4-17 years: United States, 2011-2013. NCHS Data Brief, 201. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.Google Scholar
  41. Pedigo, T. K., Pedigo, K. L., Scott, V. B., Jr., Swanson, J. M., Nolan, W., & Pelham, W. E. (2008). Pediatric attention disorders diagnostic screener. Atascadero, CA: SenseLabs.Google Scholar
  42. Pelham, W. E., Fabiano, G. A., Waxmonsky, J. G., Greiner, A. R., Gnagy, E. M., Pelham, W. E., … Murphy, S. A. (2016). Treatment sequencing for childhood ADHD: A multiple-randomization study of adaptive medication and behavioral interventions. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 45, 396–415. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  43. Pickering, J. A., & Sanders, M. R. (2016). Reducing child maltreatment by making parenting programs available to all parents: A case example using the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, 17, 398–407. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Ramsay, J. R. (2010). Nonmedication treatments for adult ADHD. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  45. Reynolds, C., & Kamphaus, R. (2005). Behavioral assessment system for children - 3. San Antonio, TX: Pearson Assessment.Google Scholar
  46. Rytter, M. J. H., Andersen, L. B. B., Houmann, T., Bilenberg, N., Hvolby, A., Mølgaard, C., … Lauritzen, L. (2015). Diet in the treatment of ADHD in children: A systematic review of the literature. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 69, 1–18. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Safren, S. A., Otto, M. W., Sprich, S., Winett, C. L., Wilens, T. E., & Biederman, J. (2005). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for ADHD in medication-treated adults with continued symptoms. Behavior Research and Therapy, 43, 831–842. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Safren, S. A., Perlman, C. A., Sprich, S., & Otto, M. W. (2005). Mastering your adult ADHD: A cognitive behavioral treatment program: Therapist guide. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schachter, H. M., Pham, B., King, J., Langford, S., & Moher, D. (2001). How efficacious and safe is short-acting methylphenidate for the treatment of attention-deficit disorder in children and adolescents? A meta-analysis. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 165, 1475–1488.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  50. Shah, P. J., & Morton, M. J. S. (2013). Adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder—Diagnosis or normality? The British Journal of Psychiatry, 203, 317–319. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Sparrow, S. S., Cicchetti, D. V., & Saulnier, C. A. (2016). Vineland adaptive behavior scales (3rd ed.). San Antonio, TX: Pearson Assessment.Google Scholar
  52. Spencer, T., Biederman, J., Wilens, T., Harding, M., O’Donnel, D., & Griffin, S. (1996). Pharmacotherapy of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder across the life cycle. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 35, 409–432.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Stevenson, J., Buitelaar, J., Cortese, S., Ferrin, M., Konofal, E., Lecendreux, M., … Sonuga-Bark, E. (2014). Research review: The role of diet in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder—An appraisal of the evidence on efficacy and recommendations on the design of future studies. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55, 416–427. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Subcommittee on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Steering Committee on Quality Improvement and Management. (2011). ADHD: Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 128, 1007–1022. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Swanson, J. (2003). Compliance with stimulants for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. CNS Drugs, 17, 117–131.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Thomas, R., Sanders, S., Doust, J., Beller, E., & Glasziou, P. (2015). Prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 135, 994–1001. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Thompson, M. J. J., Laver-Bradbury, C., Ayres, M., Le Poidevin, E., Mead, S., Dodds, C., … Sonuga-Barke, E. J. S. (2009). A small-scale randomized controlled trial of the Revised New Forest Parenting Programme for preschoolers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 18, 605–616. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Triple P—Positive Parenting Program. (2015). Triple P takes the guesswork out of parenting. Retrieved from
  59. van der Oord, S., Prins, P. J. M., Oosterlaan, J., & Emmelkamp, P. M. G. (2007). Does brief, clinically based, intensive multimodal behavior therapy enhance the effects of methylphenidate in children with ADHD? European Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 16, 48–57. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Wagner, S. M., & McNeil, C. B. (2007). Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for ADHD: A conceptual overview and critical literature review. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 30, 231–256. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Watson, T. S., & Watson, T. S. (2009). Behavioral assessment in the schools. In A. Akin-Little, S. G. Little, M. A. Bray, & T. J. Kehle (Eds.), Behavioral interventions in schools: Evidence-based positive strategies (pp. 27–41). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Webster Stratton, C., & Reid, M. J. (2003). The incredible years parents, teachers, and children training series. In A. E. Kazdin & J. R. Weisz (Eds.), Evidence based psychotherapies for children and adolescents (pp. 194–210). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  63. Weeland, J., Chhangur, R. R., van der Giessen, D., Matthys, W., de Castro, B. O., & Overbeek, G. (2017). Intervention effectiveness of the incredible years: New insights into sociodemographic and intervention-based moderators. Behavior Therapy, 48, 1–18. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Wolraich, M., Lambert, W., Doffing, M., Bickman, L., Simmons, T., & Worley, K. (2003). Psychometric properties of the Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale in a referred population. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 28, 559–567. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven G. Little
    • 1
    Email author
  • Margaret T. Gopaul
    • 1
  • Angeleque Akin-Little
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWalden UniversityMaloneUSA
  2. 2.Akin-Little and Little Behavioral Psychology ConsultantsMaloneUSA

Personalised recommendations