Executive and Daily Life Functioning Influence the Relationship between ADHD and Mood Symptoms in University Students
Mohamed SMH, Börger NA, van der Meere JJ.
J Atten Disord. 2020 Jan 23:1087054719900251.
Commentary* by Dr. Margaret Weiss: Trouble doing what is expected of you is depressing.
Objective: Many studies have indicated a close relationship between ADHD and mood symptoms in university students. In the present study, we explore the role of daily functional impairments and executive functioning in the ADHD-mood relationship.
Method: A total of 343 adults (126 males) filled out (a) the Conners’ Adult ADHD Rating Scale, (b) the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale, (c) the Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale, and (d) the Executive Function Index Scale.
Results: The correlation between mood symptoms and ADHD was .48 (moderate correlation) and dropped to .15 (weak correlation) when controlling for functional problems and executive functioning. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that both functional impairments and executive functioning significantly explained 42% to 53% of the variance of mood symptoms. The addition of ADHD symptoms to the model slightly increased the explained mood variance by only 1%.
Conclusion: These findings underline the role of experienced difficulties in triggering mood symptoms in ADHD symptomatology.
* 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.