Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology

Resources for Introduction to Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology (4th edition)

8. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Learning Objectives

Description & Epidemiology

Describe the key features of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and how the signs and symptoms of

this disorder vary from early childhood through adulthood.

Identify problems associated with ADHD and how these problems vary as a function of children’s age and gender.



Discuss some of the main causes of ADHD and differentiate among the three neural pathways that underlie the


Summarize Russell Barkley’s neurodevelopmental model for ADHD.Summarize Russell Barkley’s neurodevelopmental model for ADHD.

Evidence-Based Treatment

Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of medication and psychosocial therapy for the treatment of

ADHD in children, adolescents, and young adults.

Note: The number before each objective shows its corresponding module in the text.


Living with ADHD

Brad is a 12-year-old boy who describes what it's like to have ADHD. This excellent video highlights some of the challenges of ADHD as well as Brad's creativity and resilience.

Assessment of ADHD

In this video, Dr. Steven Pliszka shows how he assesses ADHD in a child. The mom and boy in this video are actors, but the video provides a great illustration of evidence-based assessment.

ADHD and the Brain

This video provides an overview of brain development in children with ADHD. It also describes the neural networks typically involved in ADHD

Treatment Principles

This video is part of a longer lecture given by Russell Barkley on ADHD treatment. Barkley explains: "ADHD is a problem of doing what one knows, rather than knowing what to do."

How Stimulants Work

This short video provides an excellent overview of how two classes of stimulant medications reduce ADHD symptoms: methylphenidate & amphetamine.

Behavioral Effects of Meds

This video shows part of a longer documentary on the effects of medication on children with ADHD. Ritalin greatly reduces hyperactivity and inattention at home and in school.

Psychosocial Treatment

Dr. William Pelham (Florida International University) discusses evidence-based psychosocial treatments for children with ADHD.

Medication for ADHD

Dr. James Waxmonsky (FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine) describes effective medications for youths with ADHD. 

Summer Treatment Program

There are several evidence-based, summer treatment programs for youths with ADHD around the United States. This video shows the STP at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Learn More

ADHD Rating Scales

Helping Give Away Psychological Science (HGAPS) is a student-based organization that is dedicated to providing the best information about psychological science to the public. The HGAPS Assessment Center provides several ADHD rating scales to assess. You can complete the scales online and learn how clinicians use them to help individuals in need.

Effective Child Therapy: ADHD

The Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology (APA Division 53) summarizes the latest research on ADHD and its evidence-based treatment. Their site provides detailed descriptions and videos of the most efficacious treatments available. It's the best place to go to learn more about ADHD in kids.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Medication Guide

The AACAP website contains an excellent guide, written for parents, that discusses medication used to treat ADHD in children and adolescents. The guide provides up-to-date information about medication options and safety.

American Academy of Pediatrics Treatment Recommendations

If you have a child with ADHD and are interested in treatment, consider reading the AAP recommendations. The CDC summarizes these recommendations in a user-friendly format and provides links to the original AAP document if you want to read more.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

If you want more information about the prevalence and causes of ADHD, visit the CDC webpage, maintained by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Try investigating the “Resources” and “Publications” links.

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

CHADD is one of the best-known organizations serving individuals with ADHD and their families. CHADD sponsors research and an annual convention, assists practitioners and families with treatment, and advocates for children, adolescents, and adults with ADHD. Their website offers a wide range of information and links including streaming videos and the National Resource Center on ADHD, a clearinghouse for ADHD research.

Consumer Reports: ADHD Medication Review

This interesting site provides the results of a detailed survey completed by Consumer Reports. It provides self-report data from families whose children use prescription medications to treat ADHD. Specifically, it provides information about the costs, effectiveness, and side effects of these mediations from the perspective of families that use them.