Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling

Third Advisor

Dr. Jack Micheal


The effects of methylphenidate hydrochloride (Ritalin) on the learning and performance of four hyperactive children were evaluated using a repeated acquisition procedure with both learning and performance components. Three dosages of methylphenidate plus a placebo were evaluated under double-blind experimental conditions. Dosages treated included each subject's therapeutic dosage, a dosage 5 milligrams higher, and a dosage 5 milligrams lower. Methylphenidate produced no effect on either the number of errors per session or on the rate of responding across the range of dosages tested suggesting that the medication neither facilitated nor impaired learning or performance. Data were also collected on social behavior in the classrooms using the abbreviated Connors Teacher Rating Scale (CTRS) and on daily math scores for two of the four subjects. Scores on the abbreviated CTRS generally decreased (less "hyperactive") as medications were increased. Math scores were variable both within and across conditions, but generally higher during the placebo condition.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access