This metaregression analysis examined which behavioral techniques that are commonly used in behavioral parent and teacher training programs for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were related to program effectiveness on children’s behavioral outcomes.
We included 32 randomized controlled trials (N = 2594 children) investigating behavioral parent training, teacher training, or a combination, in children with ADHD under 18 years. Outcomes were symptom counts of total ADHD, inattention, and hyperactivity-impulsivity and behavioral problems. The dosage of techniques was extracted from the intervention manuals. Metaregression was used to assess which techniques and intervention characteristics (setting, delivery method, duration, and home-school collaboration) were associated with intervention effectiveness.
Higher dosage of psycho-education for parents was associated with smaller effects on behavioral problems and, only in case of parent training, also with smaller effects on ADHD symptoms. Higher dosage of teaching parents/teachers to use negative consequences was associated with larger effects on behavioral problems. Individual training compared with group training was associated with larger effects on ADHD and hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms.
This study provides first insights into the specific techniques that are essential in behavioral parent and teacher training programs for children with ADHD. This knowledge can eventually be used to improve and tailor interventions.