A Systematic Review of Meta-Analyses of Psychosocial Treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Gregory A. Fabiano, Nicole K. Schatz, Ariel M. Aloe, Anil Chacko, Andrea Chronis-Tuscano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The present report synthesizes outcomes across meta-analyses of psychosocial (i.e., non-pharmacological) treatments for ADHD. A total of 12 meta-analyses were identified that met search criteria. The meta-analyses were notable in that there was surprisingly little overlap in studies included across them (range of overlap was 2–46 %). Further, there was considerable diversity across the meta-analyses in terms of the inclusion/exclusion criteria, types of psychosocial treatments reviewed, methodological characteristics, and magnitude of reported effect sizes, making it difficult to aggregate findings across meta-analyses or to investigate moderators of outcome. Effect sizes varied across the outcomes assessed, with meta-analyses reporting positive and significant effect sizes for measures of some areas of child impairment (e.g., social impairment) and small and more variable effect sizes for distal and/or untargeted outcomes (e.g., academic achievement). Results are reviewed in light of the larger literature on psychosocial interventions for ADHD, and specific recommendations for future meta-analyses of psychosocial treatments for ADHD are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-97
Number of pages21
JournalClinical Child and Family Psychology Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2015


  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Meta-analysis
  • Psychosocial treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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