Further Insight into the Effectiveness of a Behavioral Teacher Program Targeting ADHD Symptoms Using Actigraphy, Classroom Observations and Peer Ratings

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Abstract

Objective: The Positivity and Rules program (PR program), a low-level behavioral teacher program targeting symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), has shown positive effects on teacher-rated ADHD symptoms and social functioning. This study aimed to assess whether program effects could be confirmed by instruments assessing classroom behavior other than teacher-ratings, given teachers' involvement with the training. Methods: Participants were 114 primary school children (age = 6-13) displaying ADHD symptoms in the classroom, who were randomly assigned to the treatment (n = 58) or control group (n = 65). ADHD symptoms were measured using classroom observations and actigraphy, and peer acceptance was measured using peer ratings. Intention-to-treat multilevel analyses were conducted to assess program effects. Results: No beneficial program effects were found for any of the measures. Conclusion: The earlier beneficial program effects on both ADHD symptoms and social functioning reported by teachers, may be explained by a change in the perception of teachers rather than changes in the child's behavior. Other methodological explanations are also discussed, such as differences between instruments in the sensitivity to program-related changes. The current study underlines the importance of using different measures of classroom behavior to study program effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1157
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume8
Issue numberJUL
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • actigraphy
  • behavioral teacher program
  • classroom observation
  • peer ratings
  • school

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