School Mental Health

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 264–278 | Cite as

Prevalence and Characteristics of School Services for High School Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Desiree W. MurrayEmail author
  • Brooke S. G. Molina
  • Kelly Glew
  • Patricia Houck
  • Andrew Greiner
  • Dalea Fong
  • James Swanson
  • L. Eugene Arnold
  • Marc Lerner
  • Lily Hechtman
  • Howard B. Abikoff
  • Peter S. Jensen
Original Paper


This study examines the prevalence and characteristics of services reported by school staff for 543 high school students participating in the 8-year follow-up of the multi-site Multimodal Treatment study of ADHD (MTA). Overall, 51.6 % of students with a history of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were receiving services through an individualized educational plan (IEP) or a 504 plan, a rate higher than expected for this age group. Less than 5 % of these had 504 plans; 35.5 % attended special education classes. Very few services (except tutoring) were provided outside of an IEP or 504 plan. Almost all students with services received some type of academic intervention, whereas only half received any behavioral support or learning strategy. Less than one-fourth of interventions appear to be evidence based. Students receiving services showed greater academic and behavioral needs than those not receiving services. Services varied based upon type of school, with the greatest number of interventions provided to students attending schools that only serve those with disabilities. Original MTA treatment randomization was unrelated to services, but cumulative stimulant medication and greater severity predicted more service receipt. Results highlight a need for accommodations with greater evidence of efficacy and for increased services for students who develop academic difficulties in high school.


ADHD High school School services IEP Special education 504 plan MTA 



This specific research was supported by the Department of Education through a subcontract with Kunitz & Associates, Inc. (KAI), N01-MH12002 KAI 118-S5.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Desiree W. Murray
    • 1
    • 11
    Email author
  • Brooke S. G. Molina
    • 2
  • Kelly Glew
    • 2
  • Patricia Houck
    • 2
  • Andrew Greiner
    • 3
  • Dalea Fong
    • 4
  • James Swanson
    • 5
  • L. Eugene Arnold
    • 6
  • Marc Lerner
    • 7
  • Lily Hechtman
    • 8
  • Howard B. Abikoff
    • 9
  • Peter S. Jensen
    • 10
  1. 1.Duke University Medical Center and Social Science Research InstituteDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Psychiatry and PsychologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Center for Children and FamiliesFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Hastings College of LawUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  5. 5.University of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  6. 6.Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  7. 7.Orange County Department of EducationCosta MesaUSA
  8. 8.Montreal Children’s HospitalMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  9. 9.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  10. 10.REACH InstituteNew YorkUSA
  11. 11.Frank Porter Graham Child Development InstituteUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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