Testing the ability of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to accurately report the effects of medication on their behavior

Scott P. Ardoin, Brian K Martens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often treated with central nervous system stimulants, making the evaluation of medication effects an important topic for applied behavior analysts. Because assessment protocols emphasize informant reports and direct observations of child behavior, little is known about the extent to which children themselves can accurately report medication effects. Double-blind placebo-controlled procedures were used to examine whether 6 children with ADHD could recognize the effects of their medication. The children were given math worksheets to complete for 15 min during each of 14 sessions while on medication and placebo. Children completed a self-evaluation form at the end of each session, and ratings were compared to observed behavior and academic performance. Results indicated that 3 children were able to accurately report their medication status at levels greater than chance, whereas die accuracy of reports by all children was related to dosage level, differences in behavior, and the presence of adverse effects. The implications of these results for placebo-controlled research, self-monitoring of dosage levels, and accuracy training are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-610
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2000



  • Adverse effects
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Methylphenidate
  • Self-evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology

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