Development and Preliminary Testing of a Brief, Behavioral Intervention to Address the Homework-Related Problems of Middle School Students with ADHD

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In contrast to the vast literature on treatments for children with ADHD, there is a relative paucity of research examining the efficacy of psychosocial treatments for adolescents with ADHD. Furthermore, only a handful of these studies employ educational interventions designed to improve academic functioning, and no study has examined the use of a specific intervention targeting the homework-related difficulties of this group. This is despite the majority of parents of adolescents with ADHD reporting school and academic issues as their primary concern (Robin, 1990; Power et al., 2006). Intervening at this critical juncture may be ideal for preparing youth with ADHD to handle the increased academic demands of middle school and high school. In order to address this treatment need and gap in the literature, a behaviorally-based, family-school homework intervention program (HIP) for middle school students with ADHD was developed. This five-session program is integrative and evidence-based, with an emphasis on the functional analysis of homework problems, parent training in homework management principles, goal setting and contingency contracting, organizational and time management skills training, and parent-teacher consultation. Participants included 11 middle school students diagnosed with ADHD and their mothers. A multiple-baseline (MB) across participants design was used to assess intervention effects. Results from this single-subject design suggest that the HIP is beneficial in improving homework-related problems across multiple indicators of change. Positive effects were also observed on some measures of overall academic progress and ADHD symptoms. This intervention demonstrated high levels of acceptability and satisfaction as perceived by both parents and adolescents.