Treating Parents and Children with ADHD (TPAC)

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ADHD often runs in families. The TPAC study focuses on parents with ADHD who also have a child with the disorder, aiming to open the door to new ADHD treatments for adults and children. All parents in the study receive training that uses behavior modification techniques and reward-based interventions to improve communication, increase compliance and reduce negative interactions between parents and children. This training is offered in nine sessions via telehealth. Some parents in the study will also receive medication for ADHD.

This ADHD study aims to understand if treating the parent with medicine and/or parent training could reduce the need for medicine in young children, especially because children under six generally don’t respond well to medication. The theory with this approach is that parents with ADHD are more prone to being distracted and disorganized, and they are much less likely to receive treatment than children. If we can first help parents with ADHD, they may be more successful in implementing behavioral training to help their child.

Because a lot of ADHD research is conducted in white, middle-class families, our lab has added an additional piece to this study, focused on better serving under-resourced families. These families cover a broader range of ethnic groups and a larger geographic area. This research aims to reduce barriers to diagnosis and treatment, and include a wider range of participants in clinical trials. The goal of this work is to collect more data about how to best serve these groups and ultimately improve treatment and care in more diverse communities.

TPAC is a hybrid implementation study, meaning that it evaluates how well the treatment works and the impact on the region and providers. Twice a year, we have a focus group with pediatricians, social workers and parents that have been through this study to evaluate results. This collaborative approach aims to build a model for more multidisciplinary care and ultimately improve ADHD care across our state and beyond.

Interested in hearing more about this study? Please contact us at

Project Period:
August 6, 2020 March 30, 2024

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Geographic Area(s):
National, Washington

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Targeted Condition(s):
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)