Effects of Ritalin on Academic Achievement from First to Fifth Grade
This study was a continuation of the Alto and Frankenberger (1995) study that reported the effects of Ritalin on academic achievement from first to second grade. The objectives of the current study were to identify the long-term effects of Ritalin on cognitive ability and academic achievement. A retrospective/longitudinal design was utilised in the study with dependent measures being scores from the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). The study included 13 experimental subjects who were identified with AD/HD and placed on Ritalin between first and second grade. For each experimental child, a contrast child without AD/HD was matched based on gender, Verbal IQ score, and family structure. Results of the study revealed that generally, the Ritalin group's cognitive and achievement scores were lower before medication and the groups tended to continue to diverge after medication was administered. Dosage levels for the children in the Ritalin group tended to be increased over time and few of the children in general education classes received supplementary educational programs.
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