Psychological theory and interpretation of research are key elements influencing clinical treatment development and design in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Research-based treatment recommendations primarily support Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), an extension of the cognitive behavioural theory, which promotes a deficit-focused characterisation of ADHD and prioritises symptom reduction and cognitive control of self-regulation as treatment outcomes. A wide variety of approaches have developed to improve ADHD outcomes in adults, and this review aimed to map the theoretical foundations of treatment design to understand their impact. A scoping review and analysis were performed on 221 documents to compare the theoretical influences in research, treatment approach, and theoretical citations. Results showed that despite variation in the application, current treatments characterise ADHD from a single paradigm of cognitive behavioural theory. A single theoretical perspective is limiting research for effective treatments for ADHD to address ongoing issues such as accommodating context variability and heterogeneity. Research into alternative theoretical characterisations of ADHD is recommended to provide treatment design opportunities to better understand and address symptoms.
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© 2021 Champ et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.