Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 374–381 | Cite as

Treatment of Preschoolers with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Desiree W. Murray


This article reviews the current treatment literature for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in preschoolers. Parent training studies show consistent behavioral improvements reported by teachers and observers as well as parents, with evidence of clinically significant improvement in ADHD symptoms for up to 2 years. Few other behavioral interventions have been evaluated, although data from a large psychosocial, multimodal intervention are forthcoming. There is evidence to support the benefit of immediate-release stimulant medication for up to 1 year; however, effects do not seem to be as large, and some of the side effects may be greater than for school-age children. With regard to nonstimulants such as atomoxetine, there are literally no controlled outcome data for children with ADHD who are younger than 5 years of age. Overall, a great deal remains to be learned about the safety and efficacy of pharmacotherapy in this age group. Fortunately, results of several large intervention studies will be available soon to better inform clinical practice.


ADHD Preschool Psychosocial Parenting 



Dr. Murray attended an advisory committee meeting held by Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs (OMJSA); has served as a consultant for OMJSA, Incredible Years, and Communities in Schools (Durham, NC); has had travel/accommodation expenses covered or reimbursed by OMJSA; served on the Incredible Years committee for the North Carolina Prevent Child Abuse Alliance; and received payment for development of several educational presentations from local Area Health Education Consortiums.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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