The Impact of Social Determinants of Health on the Efficacy of School-Based Interventions for Adolescents with ADHD

Cathrin D. Green, Melissa R. Dvorsky, Joshua M. Langberg, Heather A. Jones, Alfonso L. Floyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adolescents with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience significant impairment in functioning. There are multiple clinic-based interventions that address these impairments (e.g., behavioral parent training). However, clinic-based interventions are often associated with barriers to care (e.g., transportation and financial resources), which can limit access based upon social determinants of health (e.g., parental income). School-based interventions have been developed to address the impairments adolescents with ADHD experience, with the goal of also improving access to care and limiting the impact social determinants of health. Despite this, to date, there has been almost no research evaluating the role of social determinants of health on the efficacy of school-based ADHD interventions. In a sample of 222 adolescents with ADHD randomly assigned to receive two different interventions, the present study evaluates the impact of income, maternal education, single-parent status, and race, on intervention efficacy. Single-parent status had the greatest impact on intervention efficacy, resulting in diminished improvements for two of the three outcomes. There was also a significant moderation effect for income, but only for parent-rated homework performance. In addition, main effects were found for single-parent status and race that represent disparities present at baseline that remained post-intervention. Overall, this study suggests that although school-based models of service delivery have the potential to significantly improve access to care, social determinants of health, and single-parent status, in particular, still need to be considered and addressed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)580-594
Number of pages15
JournalSchool Mental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


  • Adolescence
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Social determinants of health

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