A recent study of 84 children revealed that Ritalin may improve symptoms of conduct disorders in children. Two-thirds of the children in the study had been diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as well as conduct disorder. The children, 6 to 15 years of age, were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or 60 mg of Ritalin daily for five weeks. The drug did make a difference. Children’s behavior was evaluated by parents, teachers and clinic professionals in direct classroom observations. Observations of antisocial behavior specific to conduct disorder were significantly reduced by Ritalin. Even when the severity of ADHD symptoms was controlled, there was a significant positive effect on conduct from Ritalin. Researchers concluded that Ritalin has short-term positive effect on some aspects of antisocial behavior.
Archives of General Psychiatry, Volume 54, 1997.
Published in ERN April 1998 Volume 11 Number 4