Marjorie Roth Leon, PhD, of National-Louis University, thinks not.
performed an aggregate analysis of 19 empirical studies examining the effects of caffeine on aspects of cognitive, psychomotor, and emotional functioning among children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Traditional treatments, such as the stimulant drugs methylphenidate and amphetamine, outperformed caffeine in improving functioning and reducing levels of hyperactivity.
However, says Leon
, "compared to giving children with ADHD no treatment whatsoever, caffeine appears to have potential to improve their functioning in the areas of improved parent and teacher perceptions of their behavior, reduced levels of aggression, impulsiveness and hyperactivity, and improved levels of executive functioning and planning."
believes caffeine's positive effects are not limited to children with ADHD in terms of curbing aggressiveness.
"Caffeine decreases explosiveness in children who have ADHD, and similarly increases feelings of calm in people who do not have ADHD," she
But when faced with the task of finding caffeine's benefits for normal children, she
Teachers did not mark any behavior improvements following caffeine ingestion.
Furthermore, "children without ADHD experience an increased feeling of restlessness and have faster simple reaction times" with caffeine, says Leon