Nonpharmacological interventions for preschoolers with ADHD: The case for specialized parent training

Edmund J S Sonuga-Barke, Margaret Thompson, Howard Abikoff, Rachel Klein, Laurie Miller Brotman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The past decade witnessed an increased use of stimulants for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in preschool children. However, the reluctance of parents of preschoolers to place their young children on stimulants () coupled with the paucity of information regarding the long-term effects of stimulants in preschoolers makes the development and testing of nonpharmacological treatments for preschoolers with ADHD a major public health priority. This article addresses this issue. First, we highlight issues relating to the existence of ADHD in preschoolers as a clinically significant condition and the need for effective treatment. Second, we examine issues related to the use of pharmacological therapies in this age group in terms of efficacy, side effects, and acceptability. Third, we discuss existing nonpharmacological interventions for preschoolers and highlight the potential value of parent training in particular. Finally, we introduce one candidate intervention, the New Forest Parenting Package, and present initial evidence for its clinical value as well as data on potential barriers and limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-153
Number of pages12
JournalInfants and Young Children
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Behavior modification
  • Preschoolers
  • Psychosocial treatments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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