Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services
WITH $2 MILLION GRANT, QUEENS COLLEGE PRESCHOOL PROJECT
STUDIES ATTENTION DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER IN CHILDREN
–Families Seeking Help Are Invited to Learn More and Participate –
FLUSHING, NY, September 30, 2005 -- A significant number of preschool children are being treated for inattention, hyperactivity, and disruptive behavior, characteristics typically associated with AD/HD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). Although these treatments are very helpful for many children, others may not need them at all.
“What we know is that a lot of young children seem impulsive and hyperactive, but this may be just a behavioral blip that disappears,” says Dr. Jeffrey Halperin, a Queens College Professor of Psychology. “On the other hand, many children do not outgrow their behavioral difficulties, and have lasting impairments that disrupt their academic and social development.”
Identifying the interplay of biological and environmental factors that predict which children will develop AD/HD is the focus of a $2 million grant that Halperin and the Queens College Preschool Project (QCPP) staff were awarded last spring by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
Within their child-friendly laboratory suite at the college, the QCPP staff conducts comprehensive neuropsychological and behavioral evaluations of preschoolers, and then tracks their development over several years. In the last year, the staff has provided free initial evaluations to 86 families, and has begun conducting the first round of follow-up evaluations. Families who participate in the project receive feedback regarding their child’s performance, and when applicable, are provided with detailed recommendations. When requested by parents, QCPP staff members have also provided consultations to schools about evaluation results.
Critical to the Preschool Project’s work is developing relationships with local schools, pediatricians, and mental health professionals. Over the years the QCPP team has worked with 53 schools in New York City, and additional contacts are being made each day. Participating schools receive complimentary parent and teacher workshops about child development, disruptive behavior, and/or behavior management strategies. QCPP has provided in-service training to school psychologists, social workers, teachers, and paraprofessional staff, and accepts direct clinical referrals from a wide range of community professionals.
For this particular study, the QCPP is recruiting 225 children with and without behavioral difficulties. About two-thirds of these children are expected to be recruited through screenings conducted at local preschools, while the remaining will be clinical referrals from pediatricians, mental health workers, and parents. To learn more about this study, contact the QCPP directly at 718-997-3210 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Halperin, who has been at Queens College since 1989, also holds appointments in the PhD programs in Neuropsychology and Educational Psychology at the City University Graduate Center, and is associated with the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. He has been an active clinical researcher in the area of AD/HD and child behavior disorders for over two decades, and has received several federal and non-federal grants to support his ongoing research program. Dr. Halperin is especially excited about this new project, which he feels offers a unique opportunity to examine the interplay of biology and environment in child development, while at the same time being able to provide assistance to children and their families.
Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Founded in 1937, the college offers an exceptional liberal arts curriculum, with over 100 undergraduate and graduate programs, that assures students an education for a fulfilling life and career. Located on a beautiful 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and professional programs. Its nearly 17,000 students come from more than 140 nations and speak 66 languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment. The college’s outstanding faculty members have received numerous fellowships, awards, and research grants, including two Guggenheim awards and two Fulbright grants in the past few years.