Are There Long-Term Effects of Behavior Therapy for Adolescent ADHD? A Qualitative Study

Margaret H. Sibley, Christopher R. Shelton, Ilan Garcia, Jessica M. Monroy, Devin M. Hill, Margaret Johansson, Kara Link, Lydia Greenwood, Gissell Torres Antunez, Juan Carlos Reyes Francisco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We utilized qualitative methodology to characterize potential long-term effects (therapeutic and iatrogenic) of behavior therapy for adolescents with ADHD. Forty-two in-depth interviews were conducted with adolescents with ADHD and parents, 4 years post-treatment. Grounded theory methods identified and reported prevalence of themes. All reported long-term effects were classified as benefits; no iatrogenic effects were noted. Long-term impact themes reported for a majority of participants included: development of organization skills (81.0%), enhanced motivation (57.1%), improved self-awareness (57.1%), improved parental knowledge of ADHD (76.2%), increased parent autonomy granting (61.9%), enhanced parental engagement with the youth (52.4%), and improved parent-teen relationships (52.4%). Fourteen themes were present for smaller subsamples, including reduced need for medication (3 of 9 medicated participants). Experimental studies of behavior therapy for adolescent ADHD should measure themes detected herein and directly test the possibility of long-term treatment effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)985-996
Number of pages12
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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