This study examined whether response to behavior modification with and without methylphenidate differed for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct problems (CP) depending on the presence of callous/unemotional (CU) traits. Participants were 37 children ages 7 to 12, including 19 with ADHD/CP-only and 18 with ADHD/CP-CU, referred to a university-based summer treatment program. Results showed that ADHD/CP-CU children had worse behavior in the behavior-therapy-only (BT-only) condition, especially on measures of CP, noncompliance, and rule violations, but these differences largely disappeared when medication was added to BT. Children with ADHD/CP-CU were also less likely to be normalized by treatment than were children with ADHD/CP-only. These findings, though tentative, suggest that children with ADHD/CP-CU may not show a sufficient positive response to BT alone and that the combination of medication and BT may be especially important for them.
Effects of methylphenidate and behavior modification on the social and academic behavior of children with disruptive behavior disorders
The moderating role of callous/unemotional traits
Waschbusch, D. A., Carrey, N. J., Willoughby, M. T., King, S., & Andrade, B. F. (2007). Effects of methylphenidate and behavior modification on the social and academic behavior of children with disruptive behavior disorders: The moderating role of callous/unemotional traits. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36(4), 629-644. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374410701662766