The PASS lab studies adolescents and young adults from the middle school years through college. Click one of the tabs to read about age-specific research.
Our group recently completed an Institute of Education Sciences (IES)-funded randomized controlled trial including more than 250 middle school students assigned to receive the Homework, Organization, and Planning Skills (HOPS) intervention or the Completing Homework by Improving Efficiency and Focus (CHIEF) intervention. Both of these interventions are delivered during the school day by school counselors or school psychologists. Students are pulled from elective classes two times per week for 20 minutes each time to receive the interventions. The entire family, including parents/guardians, also attends two meetings during the intervention period. You can read about the findings under the “Efficacy of the HOPS and CHIEF interventions” heading. You can also read about the HOPS development and pilot work. If you would like to try implementing the HOPS intervention in your school or with your family, the manuals have been published. More information on how to order the manuals can be found in the Resources section of this site.
Development of the HOPS intervention:
Langberg, J. M., Vaughn, A. J., Williamson, P., Epstein, J. N., Girio-Herrera, E., & Becker, S. P. (2011). Refinement of an organizational skills intervention for adolescents with ADHD for implementation by school mental health providers. [PDF] School Mental Health, 3(3). 143-155.
HOPS and CHIEF were developed based upon what we learned from the Challenging Horizons Program (CHP) intervention. If you are interested in learning about this study, you can read the manuscript that reports on the study outcomes [PDF] and/or the manuscript on the factors that predicted which students did best with the intervention [PDF].
HOPS pilot study:
Langberg, J. M., Epstein, J. N., Becker, S. P., Girio-Herrera, E., & Vaughn, A. J. (2012). Evaluation of the Homework, Organization, and Planning Skills intervention. [PDF] School Psychology Review, 41(3), 342–364.
Langberg, J. M., Becker, S. P., Epstein, J. N., Vaughn, A. J., Girio-Herrera, E. (2013). Predictors of response and mechanisms of change in an organizational skills intervention for students with ADHD [PDF]. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 22(7), 1000-1012.
Efficacy of the HOPS and CHIEF interventions:
Langberg, J. M., Dvorsky, M. R., Molitor, S. J., Bourchtein, E., Eddy, L. E., Smith, Z. R., Oddo, L. E., & Eadeh, H. M. (2017). Overcoming the research-to-practice gap: A randomized trial with two brief homework and organization interventions for students with ADHD as implemented by school mental health providers. [PDF] Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 86(1), 39-55.
Breaux, R. P., Langberg, J. M., McLeod, B. D., Molitor, S. J., Smith, Z. R., Bourchtein, E., & Green, C. D. (2018). The importance of therapeutic processes in school-based psychosocial treatment o. [PDF] Journal of Consulting and Clinical psychology, 86(5), 427-438
Breaux, R. P., Langberg, J. M., Molitor, S., Dvorsky, M. R., Bourchtein, E., Smith, Z., & Green, C. D. (2018). Predictors and Trajectories of Response to the Homework, Organization, and Planning Skills (HOPS) Intervention for Adolescents with ADHD. Behavior Therapy. Advanced Online Publication.
Middle school to high school transition
A fast growing body of research suggests that sleep may play a role in adolescent school success. Our research group was funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to conduct what will be one of the largest longitudinal studies of the association between sleep and adolescent academic achievement and social/emotional well-being. We are in the process of following 300 adolescents, 150 with ADHD and 150 without ADHD from 8th grade through 10th grade to carefully evaluate how changes in sleep impact school performance. This study will provide important information that will inform best-practice sleep guidelines for schools and families. If you are interested in learning more about sleep and academic functioning, please read our prior research below.
Our prior research on sleep and academic functioning:
Langberg, J. M., Dvorsky, M. R., Marshall, S., & Evans, S. W. (2013). Clinical implications of daytime sleepiness for the academic performance of middle school-aged adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. [PDF] Journal of Sleep Research, 22(5). 542-548.
Lanberg, J. M., Dvorsky, M. R., Becker, S. P., & Molitor, S. J. (2014). The impact of daytime sleepiness on the school performance of college students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): A prospective longitudinal study. [PDF] Journal of Sleep Research, 23(3). 318-325.
Becker, S. P., Langberg, J. M., & Byars, K. C. (2015). Advancing a biopsychosocial and contextual model of sleep in adolescence: A revi. [PDF] Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44(2), 239-270.
Becker, S. P., & Langberg, J. M. (2017). Difficult to Bed and Difficult to Rise: Complex Interplay Among ADHD, Sleep, and. [PDF] The ADHD Report, 25(1), 7-13.
Langberg, J. M., Molitor, S. J., Oddo, L. E., Eadeh, H. M., Dvorsky, M. R., & Becker, S. P. (2017). Prevalence, patterns, and predictors of sleep problems and daytime sleepiness in. [PDF] Journal of Attention Disorders. Advanced Online Publication.
In preparation for the transition to college, it becomes important for adolescents to be able to implement organization, time-management, and planning skills themselves, with minimal parent and teacher support. Unfortunately, when adolescents don’t use these skills effectively, it can lead to missed homework, poor test grades and parent-adolescent conflict. Our research team is evaluating the impact of a group intervention designed to help parents of adolescents with ADHD promote the use of effective homework, organization and time-management skills. The intervention, Supporting Teens Academic Needs Daily (STAND), was offered free to about 80 families with an adolescent with ADHD (grades 8 – 12). The intervention consisted of eight 90-minute meetings, held at a convenient location such as a local high school.
High school to college transition
The transition to college is a difficult period of adjustment for many adolescents. The college transition is associated with a rapid decrease in parent and teacher support and an increase in academic expectations. Many adolescents make this transition smoothly and do not engage in risky behaviors despite the increased freedom that comes with college. However, other adolescents start engaging in risky behaviors such as smoking, alcohol, and drug use and their academic performance suffers as a result. We recently finished conducting a longitudinal study designed to identify factors that predict adolescents making a successful transition to college. Adolescents were followed from the end of their senior year in high school through the end of their first year in college and completed questionnaires at three time points.
If you are interested in learning more about this study, please click here.
We are currently conducting a large Institute of Education Sciences (IES) funded randomized trial of the ACCESS intervention which was designed specifically for college students with ADHD. Through this study, more than 250 college students will receive group intervention and mentoring services. These services are not only designed to teach them skills, but also to connect them with the accommodation and intervention services available on many college campuses. These interventions are being provided free of charge at Virginia Commonwealth University and University of North Carolina – Greensboro.