ADHD Medication in America: Society, Schools, and Public Policy

Award Year:
Richard Scheffler, Stephen Hinshaw
Pharmaceutical Policy, Child Health
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects over 4 million children in the United States. The disorder inhibits academic achievement and the development of social relationships, life skills, and independence. Yet the causes of ADHD and its diagnosis and treatment remain mired in controversy. Co-PIs Richard M. Scheffler, Ph.D. and Stephen P. Hinshaw, Ph.D. examine clinical and policy issues surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. Their project, ADHD Medication in America: Society, Schools, and Public Policy, considers ADHD's biological basis and risk factors; market influences on diagnosis and medication rates; prevalence and treatment disparities; the impact of relevant federal and state laws on schools, children, and their parents; and the cost effectiveness of treatment options. Drs. Scheffler and Hinshaw will produce evidence-based policy recommendations for reducing diagnostic and treatment disparities, for improving access to effective treatments, and for increasing use of the most cost-effective treatments. Their research findings should inform policy debates and expand our understanding of how to treat children with ADHD more effectively and improve their quality of life.