Acute Effects of MPH on the Parent-Teen Interactions of Adolescents With ADHD

J Atten Disord. 2017 Jan;21(2):158-167. doi: 10.1177/1087054713480833. Epub 2016 Jul 28.


This study explored the nature of interactions between adolescent males with ADHD and their mothers, and the effects of methylphenidate (MPH) on an analogue parent-teen interaction task. Twenty-five adolescent males with ADHD ( M = 13.6 years) and their mothers and 14 non-ADHD adolescent males ( M = 13.4 years) and their mothers completed ratings of perceived dyadic conflict. Behavioral observations of dyads during 10-min conflict-resolution tasks were also collected. The ADHD dyads completed these tasks twice, with adolescents receiving either 0.3 mg/kg MPH or placebo. Videotaped sessions were coded using the Parent-Adolescent Interaction Rating Scale. Following the conflict-resolution task, participants rated their perceived conflict and affect during the interaction. Findings indicated higher conflict in the ADHD dyads, and minimal MPH effects on parent-teen interactions during the analogue task. Results suggest that stimulant medication does not produce meaningful acute effects on parent-teen interactions.

Keywords: ADHD; adolescence; stimulant medication.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Affect / drug effects
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fathers / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / administration & dosage*
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Self Report
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methylphenidate