Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Bradley Donohue

Second Committee Member

Michelle G. Paul

Third Committee Member

Shane Kraus

Fourth Committee Member

John Mercer

Number of Pages



Adolescent athletes with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) experience unique challenges that impact their sport performance, such as making errors due to poor concentration and adverse relationships with referees due to poor anger management. Pharmacological treatments have shown to be successful in treating ADHD comorbid with ODD. However, there are negative consequences for pharmacological treatments for adolescent athletes (e.g., banned by sports organizations). Well-established behavioral interventions for ADHD and ODD in non-athlete populations have included family-based, cognitive-behavioral approaches. However, none of these interventions have been evaluated in competitive adolescent athletes. The current case trial involved a controlled multiple baseline across behaviors (i.e., positive assertion, negative assertion) evaluation of The Optimum Performance Program in Sports (TOPPS) in an adolescent athlete diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. Intervention was provided using video-conferencing technology due to COVID-19. The trial included a battery of psychological measures administered at baseline, 4-months post-baseline and 5-months post-baseline. Results indicated that negative and positive assertion skills improved, but only when targeted, and severity of ADHD and ODD symptom severity, and general mental health symptoms decreased from pre- to post-treatment and that these improvements were maintained at 1-month follow-up. Similar improvements were occurred for factors interfering with sport performance, relationships with coaches, teammates and family. Treatment integrity and consumer satisfaction were high.


Family-based; Optimization intervention; Video conferencing; ADHD; Oppositional defiant disorder; Adolescent athlete


Clinical Psychology

File Format


File Size

982 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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