Measurement of the subjective effects of methylphenidate in 11- to 15-year-old children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Catherine A. Martin, Greg Guenthner, Christopher Bingcang, Mary Kay Rayens, Thomas H. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined subjective and other behavioral effects of methylphenidate (MPH) among adolescents. Methods: Standard abuse liability assessment methods that have been used in adult populations were modified for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) adolescents. MPH effects (0, 0.25 mg/kg) were evaluated under randomized, double-blind conditions in two 5-hour laboratory sessions in 24 (13 female) 11-15 year olds diagnosed with ADHD. Results: Repeated measures analysis of covariance indicated significant dose and dose by time interactions on subjective ratings on the modified amphetamine (A) [F (1, 20) = 5.98; p < 0.05; η2 = 0.36], morphine-benzedrine group (MBG) [F (1, 21) = 8.93 p < 0.01; η2 = 0.38] and benzedrine group scale (BG) [F (1, 21) + 13.10 p < 0.01; η2 = 0.37] scales of the Addiction Research Center Inventory; "Hungry" and "How sure are you that you got the medication today?" from the Visual Analogue Scale, the Profile of Mood States Depression scale, performance on the Continuous Performance Task, heart rate and blood pressure, and level of activity. Conclusions: This is the first study to document subjective effects of stimulants in adolescents with ADHD that have been associated with drug abuse potential in adults. There are increasing concerns about nontherapeutic stimulant use in adolescents and young adults. Assessing subjective effects of pharmacotherapies for ADHD along with other measures of abuse potential such as drug self-administration may aid in assessing the therapeutic effects and/or risk of medications used in the treatment of ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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