Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

William Pelham Jr.

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Joseph Raiker

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Andy Pham

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Nicole Schatz

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


child psychology, clinical psychology

Date of Defense



Medication is the most commonly received treatment for childhood Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with 90% of children with ADHD having received it at some point in their lives (Danielson et al., 2018). Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulant medication is a well-established short-term treatment for childhood ADHD (Pliszka, 2007). However, there is little support in the literature for long-term benefit of psychostimulants. One possible explanation for this lack of sustained effect is the development of tolerance to the drug. The current study aimed to examine possible evidence of short-term tolerance to stimulant medication, methylphenidate (MPH). Additionally, we investigated previous stimulant medication treatment as a potential predictor of developing indicators of tolerance during the study. Overall, results demonstrate that therapeutic effects of stimulant medication on academic productivity and rule following behavior do not significantly dissipate over three weeks among most children with ADHD. There was one exception in that children who had received a high dose of psychostimulant treatment from their community provider prior to the initiation of the current study showed weakened effects of medication over time as measured by academic productivity but not by rule following behavior.



Previously Published In

Macphee, F. L., Merrill, B. M., Altszuler, A. R., Ramos, M. C., Gnagy, E. M., Greiner, A. R., … & Pelham, W. E. (2019). The effect of weighted vests and stability balls in combination with and without psychostimulant medication on classroom outcomes in children with ADHD. School Psychology Review, 48(3), 276-289. doi: 10.17105/SPR-2017-0151.V48-3

Macphee, F. L., Altszuler, A. R., Merrill, B. M., & Pelham, W. E. (2017). Improving daily life functioning of children with ADHD: “Just say yes to drugs?” redux. The Clinical Psychologist, 70(1), 5-14.



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