Russell Barkley

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Russell A. Barkley (born 27 December 1949) is a clinical psychologist who is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina[1][2][3][4] and an author of books on ADHD.[5][6][7][8][9] Involved in research since 1973 and a licensed psychologist since 1977, he is an expert on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has devoted much of his scientific career to studying ADHD and related problems like childhood defiance.[10] He proposed to change the name of sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) to concentration deficit disorder (CDD).[11]

Author of 15 books and more than 180 scientific papers, Barkley edits The ADHD Report, a newsletter for clinicians and parents. Besides his clinical work, he is also an expert in the neuropsychology of executive function and self-regulation.

Early life and education[edit]

Barkley was born in Orange County, Newburgh, New York. He was one of five children, born to Donald Stuart Barkley (27 February 1916 - 15 June 1999) and Mildred Minerva (10 September 1914 - 25 April 2008). Barkley had a twin brother, Ronald Foster Barkley,[1][12] who was killed in a car crash on 24 July 2006. Barkley attributes his brother's history of dangerous and reckless behavior, including not wearing a seat belt and speeding at the time of his crash, to untreated ADHD.[13] Ronald was several times over the drink drive limit, speeding and not wearing a speed belt at the time of his fatal crash.[14]

Barkley married his wife Patricia on 15 March 1969.

Barkley earned an Associate of Arts from Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, North Carolina in June 1972, and a BA in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[15] He earned an MA and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.[16] From July 1976 to 1977, Barkley was an intern at the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center in Portland, Oregon.[15][17]


In 1978, Barkley founded the Neuropsychology Service at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Milwaukee Children's Hospital, and served as its chief until 1985. He then moved to the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he served as Director of Psychology from 1985 to 2000. Barkley was professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.[18][19][20] In 2005, he joined the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, where he was a research professor of psychiatry.[21][22] He has been at the Medical University of South Carolina since 2003.[19]

One of Barkley's rating scales for adult ADHD evaluates sluggish cognitive tempo.[23]


On 16 November 1998 Barkley asserted that "Ritalin will be classed as one of the leading developments for helping individuals".[24]

As of 2018, Barkley is a paid consultant to Takeda pharmaceuticals.[25]

He has been a paid speaker and consultant for Eli Lilly, McNeil, Janssen-Orth, Janssen-Cilag, Novartis, Shire, and Theravance.[26][27][28][29][30][31] These financial ties have led to public criticism for a perceived conflict of interest.[32][33]

Barkley, a leader in the burgeoning sluggish cognitive tempo research field has direct financial ties to Eli Lilly, a promoter of the condition (Barkley received $118,000 from 2009 to 2012 for consulting and speaking engagements from Eli Lilly). When referring to the "increasing clinical referrals occurring now and more rapidly in the near future driven by increased awareness of the general public in SCT", Barkley writes "The fact that SCT is not recognized as yet in any official taxonomy of psychiatric disorders will not alter this circumstance given the growing presence of information on SCT at various widely visited internet sites such as YouTube and Wikipedia, among others."

Peter Breggin and Fred Baughman are very critical of Barkley's work on ADHD, claiming that he exaggerates the benefits of stimulants and minimizes their hazards.[34]

Barkley himself edits the Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Wikipedia page.[32]

Gretchen LeFever Watson, a practising psychologist in south east Virginia began a program of ADHD research that included epidemiologic surveys. This research documented 15% rates of ADHD diagnosis and drug treatment in her community. Diagnosis rates also slammed and attacked by Keith Conners and Allen Frances. Upon hearing of this, Barkley intervened and struck back, asserting that too few people were being diagnosed and medicated for ADHD. In 2004 Barkley claimed that LeFever’s findings from multiple peer-reviewed and published studies were so questionable that they “deserve investigation".[35]

Within weeks of Barkley’s call for an investigation of LeFever’s findings, someone submitted an anonymous complaint about LeFever’s work to EVMS (i.e., the complaint described above). In response, EVMS conducted an internal investigation of LeFever’s past and current research. Against EVMS policy and common protocol for investigation of allegations of scientific misconduct, the medical school confirmed to the media that LeFever was under investigation.[35]

Barkley's visit and actions resulted in Watson being dismissed from her position. Watson's community intervention programme, which was non-pharma based and had been effective, was dismantled.[36][37][35] [38][35]

Political views[edit]

Barkley is a right-wing libertarian. He deeply believes in "Limited government, individual rights, freedom of speech and association, and the nonaggression principle (no one, including the government, has a right to initiate force or fraud against another), and private property rights". He has attacked "the leftist, social democratic or socialist leanings of Facebook's founder and most mainstream media outlets".[39]


  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment.4th ed. New York: Guilford Press, 2015. ISBN 978-1-4625-1772-5.
  • ADHD and the Nature of Self Control. New York: Guilford Press, 1997. ISBN 978-1-57230-250-1.
  • Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents. New York: Guilford Press, (3rd ed.) 2013. ISBN 978-1-46250-789-4.
  • With Kevin R Murphy and Mariellen Fischer. ADHD in Adults: What the Science Says. New York: Guilford Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-59385-586-4.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults: The Latest Assessment and Treatment Strategies. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7637-6564-4.
  • Taking Charge of Adult ADHD. New York: Guilford Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-60623-338-2.
  • Executive Functions: What They Are, How They Work, and Why They Evolved. New York: Guilford Press, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4625-0535-7.
  • Defiant Children: a Clinician's Manual for Assessment and Parent Training, 3rd ed. New York: Guilford Publications, 2013. ISBN 978-1-57230-123-8.
  • Managing ADHD in School: The Best Evidence-Based Methods for Teachers. Eau Claire, WI: PESI Publishing and Media, 2016. ISBN 978-1559570435.



  1. ^ a b Barkley, Russell A.; Robin, Arthur L. (17 October 2013). Your Defiant Teen, Second Edition: 10 Steps to Resolve Conflict and Rebuild Your Relationship. Guilford Publications. ISBN 9781462513017 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Lesley Alderman, "Speed Bumps on the Way to an A.D.H.D. Diagnosis" Archived 2017-01-13 at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, May 13, 2011.
  3. ^ Katherine Ellison, "Neurofeedback Gains Popularity and Lab Attention" Archived 2017-01-13 at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, October 4, 2010.
  4. ^ Amanda Mascarelli, "ADHD faulted in some grown-up problems" Archived 2017-01-13 at the Wayback Machine, Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2011.
  5. ^ Aliyah Baruchin, "Attention Deficits That May Linger Well Past Childhood" Archived 2017-02-16 at the Wayback Machine The New York Times, March 12, 2008.
  6. ^ "A.D.H.D. Drugs: Help or Hindrance?" Archived 2011-02-19 at the Wayback Machine The New York Times, February 17, 2011.
  7. ^ Tracey Harrington McCoy, "Richard Saul Says ADHD Does Not Exist. Not Everyone Agrees" Archived 2014-04-13 at the Wayback Machine, Newsweek, February 25, 2014.
  8. ^ Jessica Yadegaran, "How to manage your marriage when your spouse has ADHD" Archived 2017-10-04 at the Wayback Machine, The Washington Post, January 2, 2011.
  9. ^ NPR, "A Focus On Adults: Living With Chronic ADHD" Archived 2018-06-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Frontline. Interviews - Russell Barkley Archived 2016-07-31 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Barkley, R. A. (2014). "Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (Concentration Deficit Disorder?): Current Status, Future Directions, and a Plea to Change the Name" (PDF). Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 42 (1): 117–125. doi:10.1007/s10802-013-9824-y. PMID 24234590. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  12. ^ "Adult ADHD: Driving Under the Influence...of Attention Deficit". 2012-08-03. Archived from the original on 2014-03-15. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  13. ^ "Russell Barkley on the Meaning of ADHD - ADHD reWired". 12 May 2015.
  14. ^ ADHD Nation - Schwarz (2016).
  15. ^ a b VITA Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D. Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Russell A. Barkley, PhD". Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  17. ^ "Russell A. Barkley, PhD".
  18. ^ Michael Richardson, "Suicide Risk in Caning, U.S. Doctor Warns" Archived 2016-03-06 at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, May 4, 1994.
  19. ^ a b "About Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D." Archived from the original on 2014-07-16. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  20. ^ "Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D." Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  21. ^ John Leland, "Are They Here to Save the World?" Archived 2015-02-18 at the Wayback Machine The New York Times, January 12, 2006.
  22. ^ Melissa Healy, "ADHD and Ritalin: Revisiting patients" Archived 2014-04-13 at the Wayback Machine, Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2011.
  23. ^ Guilford Press: Barkley Adult ADHD Rating Scale—IV (BAARS-IV) Archived 2017-02-03 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ ADHD Nation - Alan Schwarz (2016)
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Payment Disclosure: Eli Lilly 2009 Jan. to Dec". ProPublica. Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  27. ^ "Payment Disclosure: Eli Lilly 2009 Jan. to Dec". ProPublica. Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  28. ^ "Payment Disclosure: Eli Lilly 2012 Jan. to Dec. Other Healthcare Professionals". ProPublica. Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  29. ^ "Payment Disclosure: Eli Lilly 2010 Jan. to Dec". ProPublica. Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  30. ^ "ADHD in Adults: What the Science Says". Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  31. ^ "Payment Disclosure: Eli Lilly to BARKLEY, RUSSELL". ProPublica. Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  32. ^ a b Alan Schwarz, "Idea of New Attention Disorder Spurs Research, and Debate" Archived 2017-09-08 at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, April 11, 2014.
  33. ^ ""Drug Company Dominance Makes Some Shrinks Very Rich, and Many Patients Over Drugged" by Bruce Levine, AlterNet, Apr. 15, 2014". AlterNet. 2014-04-15. Archived from the original on 2015-06-24. Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  34. ^ Breggin, P. R. (2007-12-17). Brain Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry. p. 264. ISBN 9780826129352.
  35. ^ a b c d Watson, Gretchen LeFever; Arcona, Andrea Powell; Antonuccio, David O.; Healy, David (9 November 2018). "Shooting the Messenger: The Case of ADHD". Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy. 44 (1): 43–52. doi:10.1007/s10879-013-9244-x. PMC 3918118. PMID 24532852 – via PubMed Central. CC-BY icon.svg Material was copied from this source, which is available under a Creative Commons License.
  36. ^ "Gretchen LeFever Watson | Faith Seeking Understanding". Archived from the original on 2018-02-19. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  37. ^ Cures Vs. Profits: Successes In Translational Research - James Lyons-Weiler (2016).
  38. ^ "Scientific Misconduct Blog: Memory Hole (15 October): The case of Gretchen Lefever". 2007-10-15. Archived from the original on 2018-02-03. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  39. ^ "Russell A Barkley, PhD".
  40. ^ Past Award Winners Archived 2018-06-12 at the Wayback Machine, (Retrieved 29 May 2018)

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