Group Therapy for Inattentive Youth

ADHD children better behavior, mood through group cognitive behavioral therapy

(RxWiki News) Children with ADHD might find it easier to follow through with a treatment program that incorporates other children with the same issues.

A new study into the efficacy of a group intervention for inattentive youth discovered overall improvements in behavior, mood, and symptoms for the 92 percent of kids completing the program.

"Inquire about group therapies near you."

Susan Young, PhD, a senior lecturer in psychiatry at King’s College in London, authored the study. Dr. Young explains, “Post-intervention, parent/caretaker ratings indicated significant improvement on scales of attention, emotion, and conduct with medium to large effect.”

Dr. Young’s objective was to “ascertain feasibility and acceptability” of delivering cognitive behavioral therapy in schools to the groups of children who need extra help falling in line. The program is titled the “RAPID” intervention. 

The study, published in the Journal of Attention Disorders, used questionnaires before and after the intervention to rate improvements in behavior, concentration, and overall feelings. Mainstream schools in London participated in the research, and 48 parent-child pairs engaged in the program.

Obtaining the desired results, Young notes, “The results support the reliability of the RATE-C Scales and feasibility and acceptability of the RAPID intervention," which may help parents who are trying to decide an appropriate program for their child.

Group interventions allow parents and children alike to normalize thoughts and feelings that may otherwise seem different or wrong. Within The Family Journal, a study on step-family education found group-formatted therapies to show both educational and relational benefits through interactions with people in similar situations that it fosters. 

“The benefits that were most often identified were learning from others and having personal step-family challenges normalized,” writes authors, and there’s no reason to believe the same benefits wouldn’t exist if the subject of therapy changes (from, for example, step-families to ADD/ADHD families).

Those interested in group therapy should talk to their doctor or psychologist about programs near you.

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Review Date: 
February 29, 2012