Behavioral versus behavioral and pharmacological treatment in ADHD children attending a summer treatment program

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2000 Dec;28(6):507-25. doi: 10.1023/a:1005127030251.


As part of the behavioral treatment in the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA9), children participated in an intensive summer treatment program (STP). This study examined the differences between 57 children in the combined treatment (Comb) group, who were medicated, and 60 children in the behavioral treatment (Beh) group, who were unmedicated throughout the STP. Comb children were significantly better than Beh on 5 measures: rule following, good sportsmanship, peer negative nominations, and STP teacher posttreatment ratings of inattention/overactivity. Groups did not differ on any of the other 30 measures, and responded similarly to the STP over time. Comparisons to normative data revealed that Comb children were more likely to fall within the normative range on 6 measures. The differences between these results and the main MTA results, in which Comb was always superior to Beh, are discussed in terms of the relative intensity of combined treatments. The implications for future studies of pharmacological and behavioral treatment for ADHD are discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Behavior Therapy* / methods
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child Day Care Centers
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Residential Treatment*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants