Preferred Name

M.T. Strand

Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Gregg Henriques

Elena Savina

Trevor F. Stokes

Abstract

Deficit and dysfunction in college students with ADHD diagnoses are now well studied and known to be commonplace in clinical psychology research literature (see Green & Rabiner, 2014, for review). However, areas of positive functioning and psychological well-being have not been well examined. This dissertation aims to investigate the extent to aspects of well-being may be more or less developed among college students carrying a diagnosis of ADHD, in comparison to their college peers. This examination utilized a subset of data collected from annual national “Healthy Minds” survey of college student mental health in the United States (Eisenberg, D., Hunt, J.B., Speer, N., 2013). In total, well-being profiles were examined across 4 distinct groups: 1) students reporting ADHD diagnosis with no co-morbid psychiatric diagnoses, 2) students reporting ADHD diagnosis in addition to co-morbid diagnoses of an anxiety and/or depressive disorder, 3) students reporting an anxiety and/or depressive disorder without ADHD diagnosis, and 4) a comparison group of peers who indicate no history of psychiatric diagnosis. Overall, results suggest ADHD diagnosis alone was not associated with any significant reduction in well-being, and observed deficits may be best accounted for by co-morbid emotional disorder diagnosis. Students indicating diagnoses of anxiety and/or depression were more likely to experience reduced well-being in comparison to their peers across a variety of domains. Implications of these results are discussed further, particularly in regard to understanding well-being among individuals with mental health disorder diagnoses.

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