Medication and creativity in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Psicothema. 2016;28(1):20-5. doi: 10.7334/psicothema2015.126.


Background: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of methylphenidate (MPH) on creative potential in a group of children with attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD).

Method: A randomized single blind crossover study was performed with 24 children with ADHD, aged between 18 and 96 (M = 10.0, SD = 1.3), evaluating each child’s creativity with and without MPH, using the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking-Figural (TTCT).

Results: Children under treatment with MPH showed a lower global Creative Index and lower scores on Fluency, Originality and Creative Strengths, compared to when not under treatment. The capacities for Elaboration, Abstractness of Titles, and Resistance to Closure did not differ whether on or off pharmacological treatment.

Conclusion: Our finding suggests that is important to take into account the impact that MPH might have on the creative potential of a child with ADHD to develop a more accurate evaluation and to develop better treatment plans.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Creativity*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use*
  • Single-Blind Method


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methylphenidate