ERIC Number: EJ836801
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 32
What Exactly Are the Benefits of Stimulants for ADHD?
Journal of Attention Disorders, v12 n6 p495-498 2009
Stimulant drugs (methylphenidate and amphetamine) have been used successfully for decades to improve the behavioral impairments of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention in children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A voluminous literature supports the benefits of stimulants for improving classroom manageability and increasing attention and academic productivity in children. Nevertheless, academic underachievement remains a significant problem in ADHD-diagnosed children. With the relatively recent understanding that ADHD persists into adulthood comes the recognition of continuing adverse academic, occupational, and interpersonal consequences. Longitudinal studies have concluded that although the symptom of hyperactivity decreases in adulthood and impulsivity may be less severe, significant impairment remains. This is the case in spite of increasing use, both licit and illicit, of stimulant medications in adolescents and young adults. Given their well-established benefit for increasing attention and concentration, it seems counterintuitive that ADHD medications are not more effective in improving academic and occupational attainment. In this article, the author aims to address this question and clarify the cognitive effects, as opposed to the activating, arousing, and energizing actions of these drugs. The author examines whether the use of stimulants have benefits for the treatment of ADHD.
Descriptors: Conceptual Tempo, Stimulants, Underachievement, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Drug Therapy, Behavior Modification, Behavior Problems, Attention Span, Symptoms (Individual Disorders), Adolescents, Young Adults, Career Development, Cognitive Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
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