Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review | 2019
Stand-Alone Social Skills Training for Youth with ADHD: A Systematic Review
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders, and its symptoms and impairment in multiple domains begin in childhood and can extend into adulthood as well. Many youth with ADHD experience impairment in the social domain, including social skills deficits and difficulties in peer relationships. Social skills interventions, or social skills training (SST), have been developed to target social impairment and improve the social skills and functioning of youth with ADHD. Previous reviews of SST for youth with ADHD have provided mixed conclusions, with many including comprehensive, multilevel interventions for ADHD and none examining stand-alone SST for ADHD in a systematic way. The present review addresses this gap in the literature by providing the first known comprehensive, systematic review of SST alone, along with ratings of methodological rigor for each evaluation of stand-alone SST. The present review provides insight into the strengths and weaknesses in the existing SST literature, and provides suggestions for improvement and future directions for SST. An outline of “specific ingredients” and characteristics of effective SST are also presented, with the goal of providing both researchers and clinicians guidance for creating and implementing effective SST for youth with ADHD.