Advertisement

Psychopharmacologia

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 262–274 | Cite as

The effect of methylphenidate (Ritalin) on sustained attention in hyperactive children

  • Donald H. Sykes
  • Virginia I. Douglas
  • Gert Morgenstern
Human Pharmacology

Abstract

Using a double-blind cross-over design, the effect of methylphenidate on the performance of 23 hyperactive children on four tasks measuring different aspects of attention was investigated. While receiving methylphenidate the hyperactive children showed a significant improvement in all aspects of their performance which had, in comparison to a control group of normal children, been initially impaired. Furthermore, methylphenidate produced a significant improvement in performance in those behaviours which had not been initially impaired.

Key words

Hyperactive Children Attention Experimenter-Paced Task Self-Paced Task Reaction Time Methylphenidate 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bills, A. G.: Blocking: a new principle of mental fatigue. Amer. J. Psychol. 43, 230–245 (1931).Google Scholar
  2. —: A study of blocking and other response variables in psychotic, brain-damaged and personality-disturbed patients. Behav. Res. Ther. 2, 99–106 (1964).Google Scholar
  3. Broadbent, D. E.: Perception and communication. New York: Pergamon Press 1958.Google Scholar
  4. Campbell, S., Douglas, V., Morgenstern, G.: Cognitive styles in hyperactive children and the effect of methylphenidate. Paper read at Canadian Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, June 1969.Google Scholar
  5. Cohen, N., Douglas, V., Morgenstern, G.: Psychophysiological concomitants of hyperactivity in children. Paper read at Canadian Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, June 1969.Google Scholar
  6. Conners, C. K., Eisenberg, L., Sharpe, L.: Effects of methylphenidate (Ritalin) on paired-associate learning and Porteus Maze performance in emotionally disturbed children. J. cons. Psychol. 28, 14–22 (1964).Google Scholar
  7. Eisenberg, L.: The management of the hyperkinetic child. Develop. Med. Child Neurol. 8, 593–598 (1966).Google Scholar
  8. Knights, R. M., Hinton, G.: The effects of methylphenidate (Ritalin) on the motor skills and behaviour of children with learning problems. J. nerv. ment. Dis. 148, 643–653 (1969).Google Scholar
  9. Kornetsky, C.: Psychoactive drugs in the immature organism. Psychopharmacologia (Berl.) 17, 105–136 (1970).Google Scholar
  10. Laufer, M. W., Denhoff, E.: Hyperkinetic behavior syndrome in children. J. Pediat. 50, 463–474 (1957).Google Scholar
  11. Millichap, J. G., Fowler, G. W.: Treatment of minimal brain dysfunction syndrome. Selection of drugs for children with hyperactivity and learning disabilities. Pediat. Clin. N. Amer. 14, 767–777 (1967).Google Scholar
  12. Rosvold, H. E., Mirsky, A. F., Sarason, I., Bransome, E. D., Beck, L. H.: A continuous performance test of brain damage. J. cons. Psychol. 20, 343–350 (1956).Google Scholar
  13. Sprague, R. L., Barnes, K. R., Werry, J. S.: Methylphenidate and thioridazine: learning, reaction time, activity and classroom behavior in disturbed children. Amer. J. Orthopsychiat. 40, 615–628 (1970).Google Scholar
  14. Sykes, D. H., Douglas, V. I., Morgenstern, G.: Sustained attention in hyperactive children. Unpublished study, McGill University 1970.Google Scholar
  15. — —, Weiss, G., Minde, K. K.: Attention in hyperactive children and the effect of methylphenidate (Ritalin). J. Child Psychol. Psychiat. 12, 129–139 (1971).Google Scholar
  16. Wechsler, D.: Wechsler intelligence scale for children. New York: Psychological Corporation 1949.Google Scholar
  17. Werry, J. S.: Developmental hyperactivity. Pediat. Clin. N. Amer. 15, 581–599 (1968).Google Scholar
  18. Winer, B. J.: Statistical principles in experimental design. New York: McGraw Hill 1962.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald H. Sykes
    • 1
  • Virginia I. Douglas
    • 1
  • Gert Morgenstern
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Psychology and PsychiatryMcGill University and the Montreal Children's HospitalCanada

Personalised recommendations