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SUNY Upstate seeks participants for ADHD study

SYRACUSE, N.Y. —School children between the ages of six and 11 are being sought for a SUNY Upstate Medical University research study whose findings may lead to a more effective way of diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The children may be referred to the study by a parent or legal guardian or by school personnel, upon consent from the child's parent or legal guardian. Children do not need to have an ADHD diagnosis or any psychiatric diagnosis to participate in the trial.

"We are interested in sampling a broad array of children and their behavioral styles," said study co-investigator Kevin M. Antshel, Ph.D., research assistant professor of psychiatry. Principal investigator is Michael Gordon, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry. "We are especially interested in recruiting children who do not have ADHD to serve as study control participants."

ADHD is a disorder of childhood and adolescence characterized by lack of impulse control, inability to concentrate and hyperactivity. When children are not hyperactive or impulsive, attention deficit disorder (ADD) is also used to describe the condition.

Study participation takes approximately four hours and requires one visit by the family to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Studies, located on 713 Harrison St., Syracuse. On-site parking is free.

The study attempts to improve the diagnosis of ADHD by validating standardized observations of test sessions and classroom behavior of 180 children between the ages of 6 and 11. The children will be divided into matched sets of 60 with ADHD, 60 clinically referred without ADHD, and 60 non-referred controls, with equal numbers of males and females.

Examiners use a Test Observation Form (TOF) to rate each child's behavior during IQ and academic achievement testing.

Independent observers use a Direct Observation Form (DOF) to rate the behavior of subjects in the school setting on four separate occasions. Parents and teachers complete a variety of behavioral rating forms.

Children who have mental retardation or autism are excluded from participating in the study.

Parents and teachers will be paid $15 for each participating child and a confidential report will be provided to the family detailing the results of all standardized tests.

To volunteer, or for more information, call SUNY Upstate's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at 315-464-3188.