Date

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School Psychology

First Adviser

Shapiro, Edward S.

Other advisers/committee members

Caskie, Grace; DuPaul, George; Kern, Lee; Manz, Patricia

Abstract

The present study investigated the predictors of treatment efficacy of an early intervention for young children at-risk for diagnosis of ADHD. Initial analyses of these data investigated differences in growth over time between those children who received a multi-setting, multi-component intervention and those whose parents participated in a general parent education program, revealing that both groups exhibited equivalent improvements over the first year of a two-year intervention and one-year post-intervention follow-up. Due to the counterintuitive nature of these findings, further investigation exploring individual predictors of treatment efficacy was conducted. Analysis of both observational measures and informant reports following the full two-year intervention and one-year post-intervention follow-up also failed to demonstrate treatment group effects, with both the multi-setting, multi-component intervention and parent education groups exhibiting significant rates of improvement on all dependent measures. Similarly, the majority of analyses investigating individual factors that could influence intervention efficacy, such as comorbid Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), observation of aggression at baseline, and age at enrollment, revealed significant improvements over time but no group differences. Two models demonstrated both group differences at baseline and in growth rate: comparison between preschoolers with and without comorbid ODD on parent ratings of social skills, and comparison between preschoolers who did and did not exhibit aggression at baseline on subsequent levels of aggression. Overall, despite the failure to discover group differences, the slopes for those models that reached significance were in the direction of improvement: decreases in observed antisocial behavior and increases in informant ratings of social skills.

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