The Treatment of Comorbid Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Anxiety in Children

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Virginia Tech

The current study evaluated a treatment designed specifically for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety. The experimental treatment involved a combination of parent management training for ADHD and family-based treatment for anxiety. Sessions lasted approximately 90 minutes, and the treatment consisted of 10 weekly sessions. 8 children ages 8-12 with ADHD, Combined Type (ADHD-C) and at least one of three anxiety disorders (separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia) were selected for the study. Children were assessed with semi-structured diagnostic interviews and other standardized measures to determine study eligibility. The current study utilized a noncurrent multiple baseline design to evaluate treatment efficacy. Upon selection into the study, children were randomized to one of three baseline control conditions (i.e., 2, 3, or 4 weeks of waiting) in order to insure that change in behavior was associated with implementation of the treatment. Treatment commenced after the respective baseline periods. Families were assessed throughout treatment but more comprehensive assessments were conducted at pre-treatment, mid-treatment, and 1-week post-treatment. Results highlighted significant improvement in anxiety-related symptoms but more modest gains for ADHD-related symptoms.

ADHD, Anxiety, Comorbidity, Child Psychotherapy, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder