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01-12-2012 | Uitgave 4/2012

Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review 4/2012

Developmental Context and Treatment Principles for ADHD Among College Students

Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review > Uitgave 4/2012
Andrew P. Fleming, Robert J. McMahon


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects between 2 and 8 % of college students. ADHD is associated with impaired academic, psychological, and social functioning, and with a wide array of negative outcomes including lower GPAs, graduation rates, and self-reported quality of life. The college environment often brings decreased external structure and increased availability of immediate rewards, presenting added demands for behavioral self-regulation—an area in which students with ADHD are already vulnerable. Despite the significant impact of ADHD in college and the unique challenges presented by the college context, virtually no treatment development research has been conducted with this population. In order to provide a framework to guide intervention development, this comprehensive review integrates research from three key domains that inform treatment for college students with ADHD: (1) functional impairment associated with ADHD among college students, (2) etiology of ADHD and the developmental context for ADHD among emerging adults (age 18–24), and (3) treatment outcome research for ADHD among adolescents and adults. A detailed set of proposed treatment targets and intervention principles are identified, and key challenges associated with treatment development in this population are discussed.

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