The purpose of this study was to explore if Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is related to identity in undergraduate adults, as well as their self-esteem. Also investigated was whether prior diagnosis (including early detection versus later-in-life detection) would be related to higher self-esteem and healthier identity formation. College students in large metropolitan southeastern universities enrolled in psychology classes (N = 368) took an anonymous online self-report survey battery in exchange for course credit. The screening tool for ADHD identified close to 50% of the sample as possibly having ADHD, which is much higher than any previous study has reported. Possible reasons for and implications of this surprising finding are also discussed. Those that met the screening criteria for ADHD had significantly higher levels of identity distress and unproductive ruminative identity exploration. They also had higher levels of identity exploration in depth and lower levels of identification with identity commitments. Those with previous diagnosis of ADHD reported lower levels of self-esteem than those who met the screening criteria used in this study, but had never been diagnosed, suggesting that the diagnostic label itself might be contributing to the lower levels of self-esteem.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Hall, Julie, "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Self-Esteem, and Identity Among College Students" (2023). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1451.