Drug treatment of hyperactivity in children

Kenneth Ottenbacher, H. M. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Scopus citations


Recently-developed quantitative reviewing procedures were applied to 61 selected studies in order to explore the efficacy of pharmacological management for children identified as hyperactive. Analysis of effect-size information derived from the studies revealed that the average child receiving drug treatment was less hyperactive than 88.5 per cent of the control children. 30 per cent of this effect could be attributed to placebo phenomenon. The analysis also indicated that drug therapy had the most pronounced effect on dependent variables consisting of standardized or informal measures of behaviour and the least effect on measures of IQ and academic achievement. The advantages of quantitative reviewing methodology for adding clarity and consensus to complex bodies of literature are demonstrated and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-366
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuroscience(all)

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