Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Hardwick S. Johnson

Committee Member

Sherry Burke

Committee Member

Kimberly Durham

Committee Member

Jennifer Reeves

Committee Member

William Smith


ADHD, ADHD diagnosis, ADHD management, adult ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, experiences ADHD


The problem addressed in the research was that many individuals were not diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) until they were adults. The purpose of the study was to examine the experiences and beliefs of participants regarding the management of ADHD and the impact that experiences may or may not have regarding the quality of life during adulthood. This study utilized a phenomenological qualitative approach to collect data from adults diagnosed with ADHD about their life experiences. Data were gathered with virtual conference interviews and phone calls using an interview protocol that the researcher developed. Qualitative methods were utilized to analyze the data to answer the research questions.

Research Question 1 asked about differences in the quality of life between thosediagnosed with ADHD in childhood and those diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood. Adults diagnosed with ADHD in childhood struggled with procrastination, disorganization, and forgetfulness in schools. Adults diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood experienced distractibility problems when performing monotonous tasks. Research Question 2 asked about the type of childhood experiences that affected the outcomes of how adults treated ADHD. Findings showed adolescents with ADHD who were best friends in childhood sought adults with ADHD for friendships when they became adults. Parents who worked all the time contributed to responders with ADHD being lonely and introverts as adults. Research Question 3 inquired about how childhood experiences, stemming from ADHD, affected life choices in adults. Results indicated supportive mothers of responders with ADHD helped the responders achieve positive life choices. Research Question 4 inquired concerning factors that determined how adults managed ADHD. Results conveyed early diagnosis of ADHD and conversations with others who experienced ADHD helped with the management of ADHD. Books may be read on the topic and Internet searches conducted to locate symptoms and treatments.

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