Supporting Implementation of Behavioral Classroom Interventions for Children with ADHD in Urban Schools

Statement of Problem

Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at increased risk for negative social, emotional, and health outcomes, and face particularly significant challenges in the academic setting. Without effective treatment, children with ADHD are more likely to drop out of school and experience social challenges. This problem is especially urgent in low-income, urban communities, where a large number of children show symptoms of ADHD or related concerns. It is, therefore, critical to increase the accessibility and quality of support these children receive at school.

Behavioral classroom management interventions (for example, using high rates of specific, contingent praise) are well-established treatments for elementary school-age children with ADHD. However, teachers face many challenges that may make it difficult to use high levels of behavioral classroom management practices. Little is known about specific barriers or facilitators to teachers’ use of behavioral classroom management interventions for children with symptoms of ADHD, or about ways to effectively support teachers in using these practices.


This project seeks to address knowledge gaps on effective approaches to support teacher use of evidence-based behavioral interventions for students with symptoms of ADHD in urban schools. Through partnerships with community stakeholders, the research team will develop and pilot test an implementation resource package that supports teacher use of evidence-based classroom management interventions. In providing this resource for educators, our goal is to enhance outcomes for children with ADHD.

For the first step of this work, we will conduct surveys and interviews with teachers to identify barriers and facilitators to implementing four evidence-based classroom management interventions, as well as their attitudes and norms related to the interventions. Based on what we learn, we will iteratively develop the implementation resource package to support teacher use of behavioral classroom interventions with increased frequency and fidelity, and will obtain feedback from teachers throughout its development.

Next Steps

The final step of this project will be to pilot test the refined resource package in a small-scale randomized controlled trial in order to determine its feasibility and promise for use among educators.

Supporting teachers in their use of effective interventions to enhance outcomes for students with symptoms of ADHD is crucial for child development and to achieve equitable mental health care and educational opportunities. The results of this study will address a gap in understanding the implementation of behavioral classroom management interventions, and will provide a foundation for future work supporting these interventions on a larger scale.

This project page was last updated in May 2021. 

Suggested Citation

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PolicyLab. Supporting Implementation of Behavioral Classroom Interventions for Children with ADHD in Urban Schools [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: plug in date accessed here].