Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 1973 Issue »

    Amphetamines in the Treatment of Hyperkinetic Children

    Lester Grinspoon, Susan B. Singer
    The authors review research on the effects of amphetamines on children, particularly hyperactive children in the classroom. They point out that there is no clear evidence these drugs should be prescribed as often as they are. The "hyperkinetic syndrome" remains vague both in its diagnosis and its etiology, and the mechanism of amphetamine action is unclear. The assumption that amphetamines have a paradoxical, calming effect on hyperactive children, unlike the stimulating effect they exert on adults, may accurately describe the apparent effects of the drugs on attention and other aspects of socially accepted classroom behavior, but it does not justify the interpretation that amphetamine effects are qualitatively different for children than for adults, without the same potential for harm. The authors conclude that the possible adverse effects of these drugs and their unknown long-term risks require that we consider the present policy of amphetamine administration in the schools.

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    Winter 1973 Issue

    Abstracts

    Preface
    A Statement by Senator Walter F. Mondale
    Walter F. Mondale
    Children Under the Law
    Hillary Rodham
    Amphetamines in the Treatment of Hyperkinetic Children
    Lester Grinspoon, Susan B. Singer
    Abused and Neglected Children in America
    A Study of Alternative Policies
    Richard J. Light
    Foster Care—In Whose Best Interest?
    Robert H. Mnookin
    Report Analyses
    The Massachusetts Task Force Reports: Advocacy for Children
    Peter B. Edelman
    The White House Conferences on Children
    An Historical Perspective
    Rochelle Beck
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