ADHD Treatment Improves Teens' Grades, Confidence
Thu Mar 17, 2005

THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- Treating teens diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) boosts their grades, provides higher self-esteem and improves family relationships, according to the results of a new U.S. survey conducted for the National Mental Health Association (NMHA).

The online survey -- which included 268 parents of 14-to-18-year-olds with ADHD and another 265 teens diagnosed with the disorder -- was funded by McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals. The parents and teens were recruited independently and were not matched pairs from the same families.

Sixty-six percent of the parents said their teens were currently receiving treatment for ADHD, while 61 percent of the teens in the survey said they were currently receiving treatment, which included medication, counseling and/or behavior therapy, and school services.

According to the survey, 56 percent of the teens said their school grades improved after they began receiving treatment. Both teens and the parents of the teens with ADHD also reported seeing improvements in self-esteem, social relationships and enhanced participation in extracurricular activities.

"ADHD amplifies the issues that all teens grapple with, such as heavy demands at school, more complicated social situations, and a growing desire for independence," Michael Faenza, president and CEO of the nonprofit NMHA, said in a prepared statement.

"Therefore, it is critical that they receive the support and treatment needed to succeed during these critical years," Faenza said.

"Research shows that as many as 80 percent of children with ADHD exhibit persistent symptoms during adolescence, and 60 percent go on to display symptoms during adulthood," Dr. David Goodman, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University, said in a prepared statement.

"Left untreated, many teenagers with ADHD experience academic impairment, driving-related incidents, and are at higher risk of substance abuse, encounters with law-enforcement, and consequent negative impact within the family," Goodman said.

More information
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about ADHD treatment.