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ADHD Symptoms: Objective Performance and Subject Perspective
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

ADHD research has mainly focused on objective performance measures. Performance, however, is only one aspect of functioning. Other aspects of how individuals function are their personal experiences and their evaluations of those experiences. The aim of this thesis is to expand knowledge on the topic of ADHD by presenting studies that investigate objective performance and subject perspective, simultaneously. The empirical work presented here has a dimensional approach to ADHD, which is reflected in the use of samples selected to represent a wide variation in ADHD symptoms. Herein, both objective performance and subject perspective are conceptualized in various ways, to address unanswered questions and to question previous research.

ADHD is related to underperformance within the academic realm and within the social realm. By introducing novel subject perspective measures, and including objective performance measures in new ways, a more nuanced understanding of these underperformance areas was gained. More specifically, we obtained an overview of the influence of ADHD symptoms in late childhood and adolescence in relation to academic performance by studying a longitudinal framework of concomitant factors. Furthermore, we disentangled the interplay of ADHD and ODD symptoms and cognitive performance in predicting social acceptance and the "positive illusory bias". Additionally, we questioned the link between disorganized attachment representations and ADHD symptoms by investigating the potential relationship between attachment representations and ADHD symptoms, whilst considering concurrent conduct problems, cognitive performance and narrative responses to non-attachment related story stems.

Main results indicate that academic performance is influenced by ADHD symptoms and previous academic performance; adolescent self-perceptions of academic competence are negligible in this context. Moreover, ADHD symptoms in adolescence have a negative influence on views of the future, beyond academic performance and parental education. Further, results indicate that positive illusory bias relates more to ODD behaviors. Finally, results also indicate that children with high levels of ADHD symptoms could falsely appear to be disorganized due to a propensity to include negative content in narratives. In conclusion, when studied together, objective performance and subject perspective give new insight into ADHD. The findings presented motivate the simultaneous inclusion of different perspectives of functioning in ADHD research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. , 76 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 116
Keyword [en]
ADHD, developmental psychology, academic performance, future orientation, cognitive performance, positive illusory bias, attachment representations
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-260987ISBN: 978-91-554-9332-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-260987DiVA: diva2:851391
Public defence
2015-10-30, Museum Gustavianum Auditorium Minus, Akademigatan 3 753 10, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-10-02 Created: 2015-08-27 Last updated: 2015-10-05
List of papers
1. ADHD symptoms, academic achievement, self-perception of academic competence and future orientation: A longitudinal study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>ADHD symptoms, academic achievement, self-perception of academic competence and future orientation: A longitudinal study
2013 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 54, no 3, 205-212 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the investigation of the effect of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms on school careers there is a need to study the role of adolescent and childhood ADHD symptoms and academic achievement, and to incorporate measures that include the individual's perspective. Our aim was to gain an overview of the long-term development of school careers in relation to ADHD symptoms. We studied associations between ADHD symptoms and academic achievement at different time-points and future orientation at the end of high school, and assessed the role of self-perceptions of academic competence in these associations. Participants were 192 children (47% girls) with a range of ADHD symptoms taken from a community sample. Collecting data at three time points, in 6th, 11th and 12th grade we tested a structural equation model. Results showed that ADHD symptoms in 6th grade negatively affected academic achievement concurrently and longitudinally. ADHD symptoms in 11th grade negatively affected concurrent academic achievement and academic self-perception and future orientation in 12th grade. Academic achievement had a positive influence on academic self-perception and future orientation. Given the other factors, self-perception of academic competence did not contribute to outcomes. We concluded that early ADHD symptoms may cast long shadows on young people's academic progress. This happens mainly by way of stability in symptoms and relations to early low academic achievement.

Keyword
ADHD symptoms in preadolescence and adolescence, academic achievement, self-perception of academic competence, future orientation
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-202364 (URN)10.1111/sjop.12042 (DOI)000318441100004 ()
Available from: 2013-06-24 Created: 2013-06-24 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Effects of Symptoms of ADHD, ODD, and Cognitive Functioning on Social Acceptance and the Positive Illusory Bias in Children
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of Symptoms of ADHD, ODD, and Cognitive Functioning on Social Acceptance and the Positive Illusory Bias in Children
2012 (English)In: Journal of Attention Disorders, ISSN 1087-0547, E-ISSN 1557-1246, Vol. 16, no 8, 685-696 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: To examine the effects of symptoms of ADHD and ODD and cognitive functioning on social acceptance and positive bias in children. Method: The sample consisted of 86 children (49 girls) between 7 and 13 years old, recruited to reflect a wide range of ADHD symptoms. Parents and teachers reported on ADHD and ODD symptoms and social acceptance. Children reported on social acceptance and were given tasks measuring working memory, inhibition and reaction-time variability. A discrepancy score between child and adult reports of social acceptance was used as a measure of positive bias. Results: Inattention independently explained variance in social acceptance. The cognitive factors were related to social acceptance and the positive bias, but not beyond the ADHD and ODD symptoms. Conclusion: It is primarily disruptive behavior that contributes to external reports of children's social acceptance.

Keyword
ADHD, ODD, cognitive functioning, social acceptance, positive bias
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-185181 (URN)10.1177/1087054711417398 (DOI)000309577300009 ()
Available from: 2012-11-22 Created: 2012-11-21 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
3. ADHD Symptoms and Attachment Representations: Considering the Role of Conduct Problems, Cognitive Deficits and Narrative Responses in Non-Attachment-Related Story Stems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>ADHD Symptoms and Attachment Representations: Considering the Role of Conduct Problems, Cognitive Deficits and Narrative Responses in Non-Attachment-Related Story Stems
2014 (English)In: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, ISSN 0091-0627, E-ISSN 1573-2835, Vol. 42, no 6, 1033-1042 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the present study was to investigate ADHD symptoms in relation to attachment representations. We used both attachment- and non-attachment-related story stems, which allowed us to investigate whether problems with narrative production can explain the relation between ADHD symptoms and attachment representations. We also investigated the role of cognitive deficits and conduct problems in these relations. The sample consisted of 89 children (27 % girls) between 6 and 10 years old, with an oversampling of children with high levels of ADHD symptoms. ADHD symptoms and conduct problems were rated by parents and teachers. Cognitive functioning was investigated using laboratory tests of inhibition, working memory and sustained attention. Attachment representations were coded as secure, organized insecure and disorganized categories. Narrative responses to non-attachment-related story stems were coded for incoherence and negative content. Results showed that children in the disorganized attachment category had significantly higher levels of ADHD symptoms compared to those in the secure category. Both ADHD symptoms and disorganized attachment were related to incoherence and negative content. Attachment representations were not associated with ADHD symptoms when controlling for negative content in response to non-attachment-related story stems. These results suggest that the associations between attachment security and ADHD are yet to be fully understood. Importantly, a propensity to envisage negative events seems to characterize children with high levels of ADHD symptoms.

Keyword
ADHD symptoms, Attachment representations, Cognitive deficits, Narrative, Incoherence, Negative content
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-230072 (URN)10.1007/s10802-014-9854-0 (DOI)000339331100013 ()24562639 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2014-09-03 Created: 2014-08-19 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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