Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Erik Willcutt

Second Advisor

Mark Whisman

Third Advisor

Michele Simpson

Abstract

The legitimacy and acceptance of adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a valid diagnosis is a relatively new development in the field of ADHD research. Research surrounding the prevalence, diagnosis, manifestation, and associated impairments of adult ADHD has not been conducted to the extent of the research existing on childhood ADHD, and few studies have examined the nature of gender differences in adult ADHD. The current study obtained parent and self-report ratings of ADHD symptoms for an unselected sample of college students to test competing hypotheses regarding gender differences in the prevalence of adult ADHD and associated access to clinical services. This study also assessed the impairments caused by ADHD symptoms in a variety of domains by administering an extensive battery of impairment measures. The results of this study showed that the gender prevalence difference differed depending on the rater. Most importantly, our results provide compelling evidence that adult ADHD is not a benign condition and results in significant impairment across a variety of domains pertaining to academic, occupational, and other important domains of life functioning.

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