Single and combined effects of methylphenidate and behavior therapy on the classroom performance of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1992 Apr;20(2):213-32. doi: 10.1007/BF00916549.


Twenty-four boys with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) participating in an intensive summer treatment program each received b.i.d. placebo and two doses of methylphenidate (MPH, 0.3 mg/kg and 0.6 mg/kg) crossed with two classroom settings: a behavior modification classroom including a token economy system, time out and daily home report card, and a "regular" classroom setting not using these procedures. Dependent variables included classroom observations of on-task and disruptive behavior, academic work completion and accuracy, and daily self-ratings of performance. Both MPH and behavior modification alone significantly improved children's classroom behavior, but only MPH improved children's academic productivity and accuracy. Singly, behavior therapy and 0.3 mg/kg PMH produced roughly equivalent improvements in classroom behavior. Further, the combination of behavior therapy and 0.3 mg/kg MPH resulted in maximal behavioral improvements, which were nearly identical to those obtained with 0.6 mg/kg MPH alone.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Attention / drug effects
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / rehabilitation*
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology
  • Impulsive Behavior / rehabilitation
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use*
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Personality Assessment
  • Self Concept


  • Methylphenidate