February 1972

What Have We Learned From Psychoactive Drug Research on Hyperactives?

Author Affiliations

Allendale, Mich
From the Department of Psychology, Grand Valley State College, Allendale, Mich.

Am J Dis Child. 1972;123(2):177-180. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110080155025

There is little question but that the problem of children who are hyperactive is both widespread and of serious concern. Moreover, there appears to be little question that the treatment, though satisfactory in some ways, raises more questions for the critical observer and physician than it answers.

The research dealing with the use of drugs to benefit children who are hyperactive has now accumulated data for more than a third of a century. Like all pioneer research, it must be interpreted with considerable caution. With the exception of a few of the latest studies reported by a very limited number of the more sophisticated researchers, the conclusions and recommendations for the most part have been made uncritically, even optimistically, due possibly to confidence in the clinical acuity of an experienced professional, even though critical interpretation of a study does not warrant definitive conclusions.

Although some studies dealing with the use

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