Volume 8, Issue 4 (1979)
Using Stimulant Drugs in the Classroom
Russell A. Barkley
ABSTRACT: The present paper reviews the research on the effects of stimulant drugs on the classroom behavior and academic achievement of hyperactive children. Results indicate that these drugs are very effective at improving attention span, on-task behavior, activity level, and disruptive behavior in hyperactive children. However,a review of 18 studies using 55 objective measures of scholastic achievement and productivity revealed that drug effects were found on less than 17 percent of these measures. Combined with the results of six long-term follow-up studies,these drug studies indicate that the stimulant drugs do not appreciably improve the academic achievement or outcome of hyperactive children. Reasons for this paradox, implications for the use of stimulants in the classroom, and the role to be played by school psychologists in drug therapy are briefly discussed.
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