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Parent Preferences and Goals Influence ADHD Treatment Decisions

9/2/2013 For Release: September 2, 2013

Determining parents' preferences and goals for ADHD treatment is an important part of treatment decision-making. A study in the October 2013 Pediatrics, “Parental Preferences and Goals Regarding ADHD Treatment,” (published online Sept. 2) found that parents whose goal was to improve their child’s academic achievement often initiated a medication-based treatment. Parents whose goal was improving their child’s behavior and interpersonal relationships were more likely to choose behavior therapy. After six months of treatment, the parents of children who chose either ADHD medication or behavioral-based therapy both had decreased academic and behavioral goals, suggesting that the chosen treatment was effective at helping parents reach their goals. Based on these findings, study authors conclude that when seeking out ADHD treatment options, it is important for families to be involved in the shared decision-making process with their pediatrician. This involves the active participation of both families and pediatricians before initiating treatment, discussing risks and benefits of particular therapies, and the likelihood of achieving desired outcomes.


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit


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