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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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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Correspondence to Desiree W. Murray.

Appendix

Appendix

Collaborators from the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA) include from NIMH: Benedetto Vitiello, M.D. (Child & Adolescent Treatment and Preventive Interventions Research Branch), Joanne B. Severe, M.S. (Clinical Trials Operations and Biostatistics Unit, Division of Services and Intervention Research), Peter S. Jensen, M.D. (currently at REACH Institute and Mayo Clinic), L. Eugene Arnold, M.D., M.Ed. (currently at Ohio State University), Kimberly Hoagwood, Ph.D. (currently at Columbia); previous contributors from NIMH to the early phases: John Richters, Ph.D. (currently at National Institute of Nursing Research); Donald Vereen, M.D. (currently at NIDA). Principal investigators and co-investigators from the sites are: University of California, Berkeley/San Francisco: Stephen P. Hinshaw, Ph.D. (Berkeley), Glen R. Elliott, Ph.D., M.D. (San Francisco); Duke University: Karen C. Wells, Ph.D., Jeffery N. Epstein, Ph.D. (currently at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center), Desiree W. Murray, Ph.D. (currently at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill); previous Duke contributors to early phases: C. Keith Conners, Ph.D. (former PI); John March, M.D., M.P.H.; University of California, Irvine: James Swanson, Ph.D., Timothy Wigal, Ph.D.; previous contributor from UCLA to the early phases: Dennis P. Cantwell, M.D. (deceased); New York University: Howard B. Abikoff, Ph.D.; Montreal Children’s Hospital/McGill University: Lily Hechtman, M.D.; New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University/Mount Sinai Medical Center: Laurence L. Greenhill, M.D. (Columbia), Jeffrey H. Newcorn, M.D. (Mount Sinai School of Medicine). University of Pittsburgh: Brooke Molina, Ph.D., Betsy Hoza, Ph.D. (currently at University of Vermont), William E. Pelham, Ph.D. (PI for early phases, currently at Florida International University). Follow-up phase statistical collaborators: Robert D. Gibbons, Ph.D. (University of Illinois, Chicago); Sue Marcus, Ph.D. (Mt. Sinai College of Medicine); Kwan Hur, Ph.D. (University of Illinois, Chicago). Original study statistical and design consultant: Helena C. Kraemer, Ph.D. (Stanford University). Collaborator from the Office of Special Education Programs/US Department of Education: Thomas Hanley, Ed.D. Collaborator from Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention/Department of Justice: Karen Stern, Ph.D.

The Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA) was a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) cooperative agreement randomized clinical trial, continued under an NIMH contract as a follow-up study and finally under a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) contract.

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Murray, D.W., Molina, B.S.G., Glew, K. et al. Prevalence and Characteristics of School Services for High School Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. School Mental Health 6, 264–278 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-014-9128-6

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Keywords

  • ADHD
  • High school
  • School services
  • IEP
  • Special education
  • 504 plan
  • MTA