Behavioral Therapy (Including Parents) More Effective for ADHD than Drugs

Kermit Cole

Stimulant medication does not improve the academic performance or test scores of the 9% of all children in the U.S. diagnosed with ADHD, according to research reviewed in Scientific American. Rather, study habits rather than medication differentiated high- and low-performing students with the diagnosis. Additionally, training parents of children with ADHD diagnoses in stress management and behavioral interventions to help their children produced significant improvement equal to medication, with fewer long-term complications.

Abstract →


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]