Examining the efficacy of performance feedback and goal-setting interventions in children with AD/HD: A comparison of two methods of goal setting

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Lawrence Lewandowski


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Performance feedback, Goal-setting, Interventions, Children

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Children with AD/HD have demonstrated significant academic problems and are often at-risk for school failure. In particular, math seems to be an area of difficulty for children with AD/HD. Although, academic problems are prevalent in children with AD/HD, few studies have investigated the efficacy of school-based interventions to increase academic success. The intent of this study was to use performance feedback and goal setting as an intervention to increase the mathematics fluency of 7 children (5 boys, 2 girls) in fourth and fifth grades who have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. The specific purposes of this study included: (1) examining the efficacy of performance feedback [i.e., digits correct per minute (presented both verbally and graphically)] and goal setting, as an intervention to increase math fluency for children who have AD/HD; (2) determining whether the method of goal setting, that is either self-selection or experimenter assignment of goals, has a differential effect on math fluency; (3) exploring whether the performance feedback and goal setting interventions facilitated generalization to higher math skills; and (4) assessing student acceptability of the performance feedback interventions. An alternating treatments (single-case) design was used to explore the efficacy of two performance feedback and goal setting interventions. These interventions incorporated two different methods of goal setting: (1) student-selected goal setting; and (2) experimenter-assigned goal setting. Differentiation among treatment methods was only obtained for two students, but the performance of most students improved, albeit to varying degrees. Generalization of math skills was only evident in one case and all students rated both interventions as highly acceptable. Results suggested that performance feedback and goal setting interventions may be an effective intervention for children with AD/HD and that method of goal selection may be important for some students but not others. Additional research identifying effective school-based interventions to improve academic outcomes for children with AD/HD is recommended.