College Readiness: Differences Between First-Year Undergraduates with and Without ADHD

College Readiness: Differences Between First-Year Undergraduates with and Without ADHD


 Canu WH, Stevens AE, Ranson L, Lefler EK, LaCount P, Serrano JW, Willcutt E, Hartung CM.


J Learn Disabil. 2020 Nov 26:22219420972693.

doi: 10.1177/0022219420972693.


Commentary* by Dr. Margaret Weiss: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive behaviors. Impairment in individuals diagnosed with ADHD is significant; one such domain of impairment is achieving a college education.


College students with ADHD tend to have lower grade point averages, take longer to graduate, and have higher dropout rates than individuals without ADHD. Those with ADHD may be inadequately prepared for college. College readiness can be broken into self-determination, academic skills, and daily living skills, all of which are possible areas of deficit for individuals with ADHD, given their common characteristics.


In the current study, we examined differences in college readiness in undergraduates with and without ADHD. In general, students with ADHD were found to be less prepared for college than those without ADHD, and specific areas of unpreparedness were identified.


The findings support the need for intervention for students with ADHD before or early in their college careers. Further research on specific skill deficits and ameliorative steps is needed.


* Abstracts are selected for their clinical relevance by Dr. Margaret Weiss, Director of Clinical Research, Child Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard University. Her commentary reflects her own opinion.  It is not approved or necessarily representative of the CADDRA board.


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