Transdermal methylphenidate, behavioral, and combined treatment for children with ADHD

William E. Pelham, Lisa Burrows-MacLean, Elizabeth M. Gnagy, Gregory A. Fabiano, Erika K. Coles, Katy E. Tresco, Anil Chacko, Brian T. Wymbs, Amber L. Wienke, Kathryn S. Walker, Martin T. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stimulant medication and behavioral treatments are evidence-based for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, but the combination of the 2 treatments has been understudied. In this investigation, methylphenidate (MPH) was crossed with 2 levels of behavior modification (BMOD) in a summer treatment program. Twenty-seven children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, aged 6-12, participated. Children received placebo and 3 doses of transdermal MPH (12.5 cm2, 25.0 cm2, and 37.5 cm 2). BMOD was implemented on alternating weeks. Both treatments produced large and significant effects. Combined treatment was superior to either treatment alone. The effects of transdermal MPH were comparable to those found in this setting in previous studies with multiple stimulant medications and formulations. Consistent with other research, low doses of MPH-even lower than in previous studies-yielded enhanced effects in combination with behavior modification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-126
Number of pages16
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Behavioral treatment
  • Combined treatment
  • Methylphenidate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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