-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Training parents in how to
manage children's problem behaviors can improve the conduct of
preschool children with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD), according to a new report.
The researchers also found insufficient evidence to support the
use of ADHD medications in children younger than 6 years of age,
but two drugs are generally safe and effective for older
There are four main types of parent behavior training, aimed at
teaching parents more effective discipline strategies that use
rewards and nonpunitive consequences. These strategies also promote
a positive and caring relationship between parents and
For children younger than age 6 with ADHD or other disruptive
behavior disorders, these programs are effective and there is no
reported risk of complications, according to the research conducted
by the McMaster Evidence-based Practice Center in Ontario. The
research was conducted on behalf of the U.S. Agency for Healthcare
Research and Quality (AHRQ).
However, one major roadblock to the success of parent behavior
training occurs when parents drop out of the programs, the authors
of the report noted in an AHRQ news release.
The team also examined the use of medications in kids with ADHD.
For children age 6 and older, the drugs Ritalin (methylphenidate)
and Strattera (atomoxetine) are effective in controlling ADHD
symptoms without significant risk of harm for up to 2 years, but
there is little research on their effectiveness and possible risks
when used for longer than that, the report stated. Symptoms of ADHD
include impulsive, inattentive or overactive behavior.
"ADHD can place many challenges on families with young and school-age children," Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy, director of the AHRQ, said in the agency news release. "This new report and these summary publications will help children, parents and their doctors work together to find the best treatment option based on the family's values, preferences and needs."
About 5 percent of children worldwide are estimated to have
ADHD, and boys are twice as likely as girls to be diagnosed with
the condition, which is most commonly identified and treated while
children are in primary school.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
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