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Book Review   |    
ADHD in Adolescents: Diagnosis and Treatment
Jason H. Edwards, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 2000; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.51.5.684-a
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by Arthur L. Robin, Ph.D.; New York City, Guilford Press, 1998, 461 pages, $46.95

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has garnered much public and professional attention. Almost every day a story about ADHD appears in the media in conjunction with professional articles and books on the disorder. One problem for mental health professionals, and for parents, is sorting out empirically supported assessment and treatment of ADHD from misinformation or faddish ideas.

The problem is compounded by two factors. First, assessing and treating adolescents can be complicated by the developmental challenges of their stage of life. Second, we seem to know less about appropriate assessment and treatment of adolescents than of children with ADHD. Dr. Robin's book is very helpful in resolving this problem.

The author is well known for his significant contributions to family-based treatment of adolescents with ADHD, and this comprehensive, pragmatic book is a worthwhile addition to his work. It is intended for mental health professionals and trainees who work with adolescents. In fact, Dr. Robin wisely advises that advanced professional mental health training is necessary to properly implement the approaches discussed.

The book is a scholarly, readable, and empirically informed how-to guide to assessing and treating adolescents with ADHD. Dr. Robin's integrative, biobehavioral, family-systems perspective incorporates a life-span approach and Barkley's theory (1,2) of ADHD.

The book is organized into three sections: definitions, descriptions, and theory; evaluation and diagnosis; and treatment. Each section has a helpful introduction, and the chapters are clearly written. The two chapters in the first section provide important background information about adolescent ADHD, including diagnostic issues and theoretical models. The emphasis on informing clinical practice is evident from page 1, where the first of many case studies is presented.

The four chapters in section 2 address assessment and diagnosis. A comprehensive evaluation protocol is presented in detail. Evidence of the book's practical, clinician-friendly approach is reflected in the specific guidelines about how much time to allocate to each component of the evaluation; managed care contingencies are also considered. This section seems very useful to the practitioner who wants to conduct a thorough, empirically supported evaluation.

Section 3, with its eight chapters on treatment, presents a comprehensive, multicomponent, family-based treatment approach. Components include education, medication, school- and home-focused interventions, and follow-up. In the final chapter, two adolescents who have ADHD tell their stories in their own words. Dr. Robin suggests providing this chapter to families during the educational phase of treatment.

ADHD in Adolescents constitutes an essential, research-informed, down- to-earth resource for understanding, assessing, and treating adolescents who have ADHD and their families. The significant how-to quality of this text will benefit mental health practitioners and trainees alike working in this area.

Dr. Edwards is assistant professor of psychology at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.

Barkley RA: ADHD and the Nature of Self-Control. New York, Guilford, 1997
 
Barkley RA: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment, 2nd ed. New York, Guilford, 1998
 
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References

Barkley RA: ADHD and the Nature of Self-Control. New York, Guilford, 1997
 
Barkley RA: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment, 2nd ed. New York, Guilford, 1998
 
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