Shelly-Ann McMorris

Purpose of Research
Medication is currently the mainstay treatment for adolescents with ADHD. Though medication is an efficacious treatment for core ADHD symptoms, it does not directly address the associated academic, social, emotional, and behavioural impairments. Overcoming these requires skills in organization, time management, problem-solving, emotional modulation, stress management, and interpersonal rapport. These skills become especially important as children enter adolescence and are expected to function more autonomously.

The purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy of a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Skills Training program for adolescents with ADHD, targeting the skills outlined above.

Who Can Participate?
Adolescents 13 – 17 years old; fluent in English; with or without prior ADHD diagnosis; without a history of Autism Spectrum Disorder, psychosis, significant brain traumas (encephalitis, head injury, etc.), major medical conditions or impairments that would interfere with the ability of the adolescent to complete testing or take psychostimulants, (e.g., epilepsy, cardiac abnormalities, or renal abnormalities), significant psychiatric comorbidities (e.g. suicidality) or substance abuse requiring immediate treatment.

What Is Involved?
Adolescents with ADHD will be optimally medicated and randomly assigned to receive one of three possible treatments: 1) fourteen weekly group sessions of Cognitive Behaviour and Skills Training Therapy, 2) fourteen weekly group sessions of Supportive Group Therapy, or 3) treatment as usual in the community. For those assigned to the first two treatment groups, each weekly session will be 1.5 hours long. Parents of adolescents in these groups will attend 6 of their own support and educational group meetings.

  1. Cognitive Behaviour and Skills Training Therapy – Each session will focus on a new topic or skill that the adolescent will learn and practice. Adolescents will be assigned a coach, who will call twice a week to help them practice the skills.
  2. Supportive Group Therapy – Each session will allow adolescents to discuss their challenges and accomplishments in a supportive environment, and will provide them with information on a topic related to ADHD. Adolescents will be assigned a coach, who will call twice a week to discuss issues that they are currently facing.
  3. Treatment as Usual – Participants randomized to this group will receive what patients currently receive in the community, mainly medication. Families randomized to this group are free to seek out any additional interventions that they feel they would benefit from.
  4. Adolescents and their parents will be asked to complete assessments before the group treatment begins, immediately after the group treatment ends, 4 months after the group treatment ends, and 8 months after the group treatment ends.

Location of Study
The Montreal Children’s Hospital, Centre for Innovative Medicine
1001 Décarie Boulevard, B04.3310, Montréal (Québec) H4A 3J1

How Can I Join This Study?
Call or send an email to Jesseca Perlman (contact information below).

Contact Information
Jesseca Perlman, Tel: 514-412-4400 x 23286, Email:


Link to the questionnaire to assess eligibility:

Tip SheetADHD Adolescent Study at a Glance

FlyerCognitive Behavioural Therapy for Adolescents with ADHD

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