Children that have been diagnosed with ADHD, ADD, mental retardation, depression, social anxiety and many other disorders have several options for treatment. Many of these children are not learning how to behave because they are being medicated into submission. This is most often true in the classroom, which is a social situation whose activities could increase or decrease the active involvement and compliance of these children and is typically the environment in which behavior modification is used to help foster behavior change.
One study was conducted using behavior modification to determine its effectiveness with ADHD. In this study students were placed in groups based on the severity of their behavioral symptoms. Research was examined to determine whether teaching self-management strategies to students with ADHD could improve their academic achievement. Research has found that children with ADHD inherently experience low self-regulation, so they may need an intervention to learn those skills. Research has demonstrated varying results on the level of treatment effectiveness that is required to create a desired behavior change. Research has shown that using friends to teach new skills is an effective method to alter behavior in students with ADHD. In this study students were recognized and positively reinforced for performing the self-management strategy. Reinforcement is defined as anything that increases the strength of a behavior. Students were rewarded with free time minutes. ADHD behavior modification and relationships is about understanding the social challenges that come with ADHD, picking social activities carefully, and looking for ways to highlight strengths and minimize weaknesses.
Overall, behavior modification is an effective treatment alternative for children living with ADHD. An effective study needs to be conducted to compare behavior modification and medication in the treatment of behavioral problems associated with ADHD. There are many arguing against the use of medication for ADHD because it has been argued to be overprescribed. While behavior modification may not be a quick treatment, it has the offered benefit of the development of skills that can benefit a child for a life-time.