• paul of Others

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed disorder among children. Nonetheless, it exists among college students. But, what do existing research tell us about ADHD in college students?

    Researchers Andrea L. Green and David L. Rabiner share us their findings.

    Approximate 2-8% of college students in the US are diagnosed with ADHD.

    However, it is to be noted that these statistics are obtained through self-reported symptoms, not actual diagnostic tests. The true estimate of ADHD among college students still remains unknown.

    It remains unknown if students with ADHD perform better or poorer than their non-diagnosed peers in academics. 

    Several researchers have attempted to see how college students with ADHD fare against the others in terms of grades.  Unfortunately, the samples of existing research are based on college students with self-reported symptoms of ADHD.

    Students with ADHD are less confident about their academic performance than their other peers. 

    College students with ADHD have reported difficulty in understanding reading materials, finishing timed tests, and working to obtain good grades. Students with ADHD also reported to perceive themselves as struggling to manage their study and organizational skills.

    Current research suggests that students with ADHD experience greater emotional distress than their other peers.

    Students with ADHD report having lower levels of social adjustment, social skills, and self-esteem.

    College students with ADHD use alcohol and drugs more frequently than others.

    It is found that students with ADHD are 2.5 times more likely to have used marijuana. They are also six times more likely to use drugs in general. Regarding alcohol usage, students with ADHD are more prone to frequent drinking episodes and greater alcohol consumption.

    One noteworthy discovery is that freshmen with ADHD have a greater alcohol use than their sophomore counterparts. 

    The impact of medication treatment on college students with ADHD on academic performance and psychosocial well-being is still unknown. 

    Research on this topic is needed by medical professionals. This is because treatment is most likely needed to be adjusted to meet the demands of their college life. Moreover, due to college demands, the impact of treatment is less likely to be monitored by their parents or guardians.

    The diversion and misuse of ADHD medication is a persistent problem on university campuses.

    Studies show that the incidence of deviation from ADHD medication is 26% in six months, and 35% in 12 months. A report states that students with ADHD frequently refrain taking their medication or take it with other drugs and alcohol. Others use it to get high. 

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) remains to be the most effective treatment for college students with ADHD

     No relevant empirical work about the effects of treatments and therapies to ADHD has been published. Therefore, CBT remains to be the most recommended treatment for college students with ADHD. CBT addresses maladaptive and self-critical thoughts of the patient, which is beneficial to college students’ progress and morale.

    Contributed by: Allison Julianne Macasaet
    Allison is a freelance writer on the side, a student of international relations on the other. Interests include fantasy books, international relations, and lifestyle.