ADHD in college students: Developmental findings

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According to the American Psychiatric Association [DSM-IV-TR, 2000], Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects ∼3-7% of the school aged population and 2-4% of the adult population. Recently, college students with ADHD have begun to receive more attention, largely due to the increase in numbers of high school students with ADHD pursuing higher education, as well as reports of prescription stimulant misuse on college campuses. The purpose of the present article is to summarize major research findings concerning developmental issues facing college students with ADHD. Overall, findings suggest that relative to the general college population, college students with ADHD are at greater risk for academic and psychological difficulties, and misuse of prescription stimulants is indeed a problem on many campuses. Primary treatment strategies include psychostimulant medication, coaching, and educational accommodations; however, very little controlled treatment outcome research has been conducted with this population. These findings are preliminary and are tempered by methodological limitations as well as the small number of studies that have been conducted. Future research using larger sample sizes, rigorous assessment criteria, and employing longitudinal designs is needed to better understand the developmental issues facing college students with ADHD. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews