College Students With ADHD More Likely to Experience Significant Academic Challenges

The results showed that for all 4 years college students with ADHD received, on average, grades that were half a grade below their peers.

New research from Lehigh University has found that students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) face significant challenges in successfully completing and completing their college education. A new paper from George DePaul, professor of school psychology and assistant dean of research at Lehigh University’s College of Education, hypothesizes how academic success can be improved.

The paper, entitled “Academic Trajectories of College Students with and without ADHD: Predictors of Four-Year Outcomes” highlights one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of college students with ADHD and for the first time systematically examines the functioning of ADHD students over 4 years College.

“Students with ADHD are likely to have significant academic difficulties during their college years, have a higher than average risk of dropping out, and require academic assistance before and during their college years,” DuPaul said in a press release.

More than 400 college students were assessed through annual psychological and educational evaluations, half of which were identified with ADHD, including multiple academic outcomes including GPA per semester, progress toward degree per academic year, self-reported study skills per academic year and college -Cancellation. Status off. The study was conducted over a 4-year period with undergraduate students from colleges in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

The results showed that for all 4 years college students with ADHD received, on average, grades that were half a grade below their peers. In addition, the results showed that college students with ADHD were significantly less likely to stay enrolled across semesters.

“It was somewhat of a surprise to see the academic deficits faced by college students with ADHD, as they were students who had the skills to successfully graduate from high school and enroll in a four-year college or university “DuPaul said on the press release. “We expected minor declines in their college education.”

There were several variables that helped predict academic success for students with ADHD, including fewer symptoms of depression, better executive skills such as planning and time management, and receiving educational housing in high school and academic support services in college, the researchers said.

The study’s authors hope the results will spark disability agencies’ interest in colleges, healthcare and mental health that work with college-age students, college professors and administrators, and those with ADHD and their families.

“Our findings underscore the importance of providing academic support services to students with ADHD prior to college enrollment, the critical need to improve the executive skills of these students, and the need to investigate and treat depressive symptoms in college students with ADHD “Said DuPaul, the press release said.


Researchers note that college students with ADHD are likely to face significant academic challenges. Lehigh University. February 22, 2021. Accessed July 20, 2021.

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