Skip to main content

Effects of a school-based cognitive-behavioral intervention for ADHD children


Two variations of school-based cognitive-behavioral training (CBT) program were compared to each other and to a waiting-list control condition in the treatment of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The experimental interventions included a multicomponent condition that provided coordinated training programs for parents, teachers, and children and a teacher-only condition that offered training for classroom teachers only. Evaluation of outcome occurred at pre-intervention, post-intervention and at 6-week followup periods. Depedent measures included classroom behavior observations, teacher ratings of child behavior, child self-report, and teacher ratings of adjustment. The multicomponent CBT condition was significantly better than the other conditions at improving observed off-task/disruptive behavior at post-test. This improvement was maintained at followup, although treatment condition differences were no longer significant. There were no treatment condition differences on any other measures at postintervention or followup. It was concluded that the intervention had minimal short-term effects on the ADHD children. The results are discussed within the context of several methodological limitations of the study which serve as proposals for continued research in this area.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Abikoff, H. (1987). An evaluation of cognitive behavior therapy for hyperactive children. In B. B. Lahey & A. E. Kazdin (Ed.),Advances in clinical child psychology (pp. 171–212). New York: Plenum Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Abikoff, H., & Gittelman, R. (1985). Hyperactive children treated with stimulants: Is cognitive training a useful adjunct?Archives of General Psychiatry, 42, 953–965.

    Google Scholar 

  • Achenbach, T. M., & Edelbrock, C. (1986).Manual for the teachers version of the Child Behavior Profile. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry.

    Google Scholar 

  • Achenbach, T. M., & Edelbrock, C. (1987).Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist and Revised Child Behavior Profile. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bierman, K. L., & Furman, W. (1984). The effects of social skills training and peer involvement on the social adjustment of pre-adolescents.Child Development, 55, 151–162.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bloomquist, M. L., August, G. J., & Garfinkel, B. G. (1991).Cognitive-behavioral therapy for children with attention-deficits and hyperactivity: Effects of parent involvement and methylphenidate. Manuscript submitted for publication.

  • Bloomquist, M. L., & Braswell, L. (1989).Multicomponent cognitive-behavior intervention for attention-deficit hyperactivity disordered children, Unpublished treatment manual, University of Minnesota.

  • Braswell, L., & Bloomquist, M. L. (1991).Cognitive-behavioral therapy for ADHD children: Child, family and school interventions. New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown, R. T., Borden, K. A., Wynne, M. E., Schleser, R., & Clingerman, S. R. (1986). Methyl-phenidate and cognitive therapy with ADD children: A methodological reconsideration.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 14, 481–497.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown, R. T., Wynne, M. E., & Medenis, R. (1985). Methylphenidate and cognitive therapy: A comparison of treatment approaches with hyperactive boys.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 13, 69–87.

    Google Scholar 

  • Goyette, C. H., Conners, C. K., & Ulrich, R. F. (1978). Normative data on Revised Conners Parent and Teacher Rating Scales.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 6, 221–236.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hinshaw, S. P., & Erhardt, D. (1991). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. In P. C. Kendall (Ed.),Child and adolescent therapy: Cognitive-behavioral procedures (pp. 98–128). New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kendall, P. C., & Braswell, L. (1985).Cognitive-behavioral treatment for impuslive children. New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kendall, P. C., & Wilcox, L. E. (1979). Self-control in children: Development of a rating scale.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 47, 1020–1029.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lochman, J. E., & Curry, J. F. (1986). Effects of social problem-solving training and self-instruction training with aggressive boys.Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 15, 159–164.

    Google Scholar 

  • Piers, E.V. (1984).Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale-Revised manual. Los Angeles, Western Psychological Services.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reich, W., Welner, Z., Taibleson, C, & Kram, L. (1990).The Diagnostic Interview for Children and Adolescents-Revised-Parent. Unpublished structured psychiatric interview. Washington University.

  • Shure, M. B., & Spivack, G. (1982). Interpersonal problem-solving in young children: A cognitive approach to prevention.American Journal of Community Psychology, 10, 341–356.

    Google Scholar 

  • Spivack, G., & Shure, M. B. (1974).Social adjustment of young children. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  • Walker, H. M., & McConnell, S. R. (1988).Walker-McConnell Scale of Social Competence and School Adjustment. Austin: Pro-Ed.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support and assistance of the faculty and staff at Echo Park, Cedar Park and Westview Elementary Schools (Rosemount, MN, Independent School District), and the parents and children who participated in this study. The authors would also like to extent special thanks to the principals of these schools, Mr. Robert Keaton, Mr. William Mack and Mr. Marvin Skinner, and the school psychologists servicing these schools, Ms. Sheila Peterson, Ms. Ann O'Brien, and Mr. Mark Kaloski, for their commitment and service to children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bloomquist, M.L., August, G.J. & Ostrander, R. Effects of a school-based cognitive-behavioral intervention for ADHD children. J Abnorm Child Psychol 19, 591–605 (1991).

Download citation

  • Revised:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: