The Downside of Research

ADHD & Marriage News - July 12, 2023

Quote of the Week

“(In research studies,) The Primary outcome of efficacy studies is almost always symptom-based, not about functioning.  That’s a problem.  And efficacy is measured in 8-12 weeks and then done…”

-Scott Kollins, PhD at 2022 CHADD meeting

The Downside of Research

Symptoms lead to symptomatic behaviors, so measuring the impact of a treatment against symptoms is a good place to start.  That said, where the rubber hits the road for every adult is in functioning.  You can improve focus with a stimulant, for example, but if you don’t apply that focus to helping you perform better in ways that matter to you, does it matter?

In relationships, better functioning is usually about becoming calmer, more reliable, and able to engage with others in a healthier way.  

I believe that adults with ADHD need to use efficacy research as a jumping off point, but define and measure their goals against specific target symptoms and improvements.  That means using improved focus to be able to coordinate tasks if that’s a huge issue.  Or using the power of anti-hypertensives to calm reactivity and then augmenting that progress with ADHD-informed couples therapy to work through the accumulated bad habits you’ve both created (now that you can stay calm while doing this work).  Symptoms are a start…but behavior and interactive improvements are the gold standard.  Set those together (for couples work) and measure THAT.


Deeper Dive:

➤ More on this topic: ADHD Overview, Diagnosis, Treatment

➤ What's next? You've read The ADHD Effect on Marriage. You've completed The ADHD Effect Couples' Seminar. Foundations in Habit Development Group is designed for ADHD partners to help solidify the changes you have started to make and want to firm up. September 20 - November 8, 2023.

Resources For those in relationships impacted by ADHD


ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - Is your relationship in trouble? My highly acclaimed 9-session Zoom seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships. The next live seminar will be in Fall 2023. Dates will be posted in late August, '23.

Non ADHD Partner Support Group and ADHD New Habit Coaching Group - Be part of a community exploring similar issues, successes and struggles and find new, effective ways to be your best self in your relationship.


How to Optimize Treatment for Adult ADHD

Downloadable chapters of my books;

A community forum with other couples facing similar issues;

A large number of blog posts on various topics;




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