Behavioral Treatment for the Social-Emotional Difficulties of Preadolescent and Adolescent Girls with ADHD

Dara E. Babinski, Sara Mills Huffnagle, Pevitr S. Bansal, Rosanna P. Breaux, Daniel A. Waschbusch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at high risk for peer difficulties that often persist into adolescence and adulthood and portend risk for additional difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder. However, very little research has examined interventions that address the widespread peer difficulties of girls with ADHD. This paper describes two open trials of behavior therapy aimed at addressing their social-emotional difficulties. The first trial includes 33 preadolescent girls (ages 7–11) with ADHD enrolled in an eight-week treatment and the second trial includes 22 adolescent girls (ages 12–16) with ADHD enrolled in a 12-week treatment. Measures of treatment feasibility and acceptability and measures of social functioning and psychopathology were collected in both trials. High levels of treatment feasibility and acceptability were reported in both the preadolescent and adolescent trial. In addition, improvements were reported in areas of social functioning and reductions in psychopathology, although the magnitude and specific areas of improvement differed somewhat in the preadolescent versus adolescent group. These preliminary findings provide a first step toward addressing the widespread social-emotional difficulties of girls with ADHD and offer insight into continuing efforts to address their treatment needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-188
Number of pages16
JournalEvidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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