Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

ADHD study: Expensive training programs don't help grades, behavior

Date:
November 25, 2013
Source:
University of Central Florida
Summary:
A two-year study found that computer-based training programs that claim to help children with ADHD succeed in the classroom and in peer relationships while reducing hyperactivity and inattentiveness do not produce significant or meaningful long-term improvements. Parents are better off saving their money, the lead researcher says.

A research team spent two years analyzing the data from 25 studies and found that those programs are not producing significant or clinically meaningful long-term improvements in children's cognitive abilities, academic performance or behavior.
Credit: M.Rosenwirth / Fotolia

Many parents spend thousands of dollars on computer-based training programs that claim to help children with ADHD succeed in the classroom and in peer relationships while reducing hyperactivity and inattentiveness. But a University of Central Florida researcher says parents are better off saving their hard-earned cash.

Psychology professor Mark Rapport's research team spent two years analyzing the data from 25 studies and found that those programs are not producing significant or clinically meaningful long-term improvements in children's cognitive abilities, academic performance or behavior.

"Parents are desperate for help," said Rapport, who runs the Children's Learning Clinic IV at UCF. "If they can afford it, they are willing to spend the money, and some parents even enroll their children in private schools because they offer these cognitive training programs. But there is no empirical evidence to show those investments are worthwhile."

Rapport initiated the study because many parents of children who have been evaluated at his clinic asked him whether they should invest in the programs. The study is featured in the December issue of Clinical Psychology Review.

His team analyzed published studies sponsored by the companies themselves as well as all independent published studies in the literature -- and he drew his conclusions based on analyzing "blinded" studies, meaning studies in which researchers and independent raters used objective measures and did not know which children were assigned to the cognitive training programs as opposed to an inactive placebo condition.

Working memory represents one of the most important core deficits in children with ADHD, and improvements in working memory are associated with improved academic performance, behavior, peer relationships and other intellectual abilities. Surprisingly, although a majority of the cognitive training programs claimed to train this important aspect of brain functioning, closer examination of their training exercises revealed that they actually train short-term memory.

Short-term memory stores information in mind for a brief interval, whereas working memory uses the stored information for accomplishing a wide range of cognitive tasks, such as reading comprehension, mental math, and multitasking.

Rapport said his conclusions do not mean that the computer-based programs cannot become a helpful tool for children with ADHD. If programs can be designed to focus on working memory, it is worth evaluating whether they can help children's cognitive abilities, academic performance and behavior, he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Central Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mark D. Rapport, Sarah A. Orban, Michael J. Kofler, Lauren M. Friedman. Do programs designed to train working memory, other executive functions, and attention benefit children with ADHD? A meta-analytic review of cognitive, academic, and behavioral outcomes. Clinical Psychology Review, 2013; 33 (8): 1237 DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2013.08.005

Cite This Page:

University of Central Florida. "ADHD study: Expensive training programs don't help grades, behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125164737.htm>.
University of Central Florida. (2013, November 25). ADHD study: Expensive training programs don't help grades, behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125164737.htm
University of Central Florida. "ADHD study: Expensive training programs don't help grades, behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125164737.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins