A Novel Group Therapy for Children With ADHD and Severe Mood Dysregulation

James G. Waxmonsky, Fran A. Wymbs, Meaghan E. Pariseau, Peter J. Belin, Daniel A. Waschbusch, Lysett Babocsai, Gregory A. Fabiano, Opeolowa O. Akinnusi, Jenifer L. Haak, William E. Pelham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objective: No psychosocial treatments have been developed for children with ADHD and severe mood dysregulation (SMD) despite the significant prevalence and morbidity of this combination. Therefore, the authors developed a novel treatment program for children with ADHD and SMD. Method: The novel therapy program integrates components of cognitive-behavioral therapies for affect regulation with a parent-training intervention for managing recurrent defiant behaviors. It consists of nine 105-min child and parent groups run in unison. A pilot trial was conducted with seven participants with ADHD and SMD ages 7 to 12 who were on a stable stimulant regimen. Results: Six of the seven (86%) families completed the program. Participants showed large improvements in depressive symptoms, mood lability, and global functioning. Milder improvements in externalizing behaviors were observed. Conclusion: Results suggest the feasibility and potential efficacy of the therapy program for children with ADHD and SMD and warrant a larger controlled trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-541
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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