Interventions for Adolescents with ADHD to Improve Peer Social Functioning

Interventions for Adolescents with ADHD to Improve Peer Social Functioning: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Sarah Morris, Jade Sheen, Mathew Ling, Denise Foley, Emma Sciberras

Commentary* by Dr. Margaret Weiss: Further evidence of the profound need for further research on treatment options for ADHD in adolescence. This is a high risk group, often unwilling to adhere to medication, with unique psychosocial needs.


Objective: Peer social functioning difficulties characteristic of ADHD persist into adolescence, but the efficacy of interventions for this age group remains unclear.

Method: A systematic search of nonpharmacological interventions for adolescents with ADHD (10–18 years) identified 11 trials addressing social functioning, of which eight were included in meta-analyses.

Results: Random effects meta-analyses of four randomized trials found no differences in social functioning between treatment and control groups by parent- (g = −0.08 [−0.34, 0.19], k = 4, N = 354) or teacher-report (g = 0.17 [−0.06, 0.40], k = 3, N = 301). Meta-analyses of nonrandomized studies indicated participants’ social functioning improved from baseline to postintervention by parent-report, but not teacher- or self-report. All trials had a high risk of bias.

Conclusion: These results highlight the paucity of research in this age group. There is little evidence that current interventions improve peer social functioning. Clearer conceptualizations of developmentally relevant targets for remediation may yield more efficacious social interventions.

 * Les résumés scientifiques (abstracts) sont sélectionnés pour leur pertinence clinique par Dre. Margaret Weiss, Directrice de la recherche clinique, pédopsychiatrie, Cambridge Health Alliance, Université Harvard. Ses commentaires reflètent sa propre opinion. Ils ne sont ni approuvés par la CADDRA, ni nécessairement représentatifs de celle-ci.


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