Short- and Long-Term Effects of Parent Training for Preschool Children With or at Risk of ADHD: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Atten Disord. 2019 Mar;23(5):423-434. doi: 10.1177/1087054716648775. Epub 2016 May 14.


Objective: The aim of the study was to synthesize the evidence of parent training (PT) as an early intervention for preschool children aged 2.5 to 6 years with ADHD or ADHD symptoms.

Method: A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted.

Results: Sixteen studies including 1,003 children were analyzed. Parent-rated outcomes revealed moderate effect sizes (ESs; Hedges' g) of 0.51 for ADHD symptoms, 0.4 for conduct problems, and 0.63 for negative parenting. Based on independent assessment, results were only significant for negative parenting. Parent-rated outcomes were sustained at follow-ups of 3 to 12 months. Program type, intervention modality, and child diagnostic status did not moderate the effect.

Conclusion: PT was partially supported as an efficacious intervention for preschool children with ADHD or ADHD symptoms with moderate ESs on parent-rated outcomes, but no significant results on independently assessed ADHD symptoms.

Keywords: ADHD; early intervention; meta-analysis; parent training.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Education, Nonprofessional*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Parents / education*
  • Problem Behavior / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome