July 1982

Hyperactive Children: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment

Author Affiliations

Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center 200 Trapelo Rd Waltham, MA 02254


by Russell A. Barkley, 417 pp, $25, New York, The Guilford Press, 1981.

Am J Dis Child. 1982;136(7):655-656. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1982.03970430087038

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This book is written primarily for the professionals who treat hyperactive children. The volume's subtitle promises a practical approach, and the book delivers just that, combined with a review of research that nicely complements the clinical material. A unique contribution is its introductory chapter, "The Families of Hyperactive Children" (chapter 2), which reviews provocative and interesting recent research on parent-child interaction, and an extensive section (chapters 6 and 7) that describes the author's approach to training parents in behavioral management.

The chapter on families lays the groundwork for Dr Barkley's argument that noncompliance and poor self control are intrinsic and critical components of hyperactivity. The behavioral management section then outlines psychological treatment methods that focus on child compliance and responsiveness to adult commands and are aimed at altering parental actions towards children. Dr Barkley cautions the reader, and I agree, that "aside from drug therapy, no other form of treatment

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