The Perception of College Experience for Students with ADHD

Conference: The Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities (ACAH2022)
Title: The Perception of College Experience for Students with ADHD
Stream: Knowledge
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Maricla Pirozzi, Northeastern University, United States


Students who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are impacted by ADHD in their academic pursuits in higher education. The purpose of this study was to investigate, explore, understand, and offer a voice to the students directly affected by ADHD. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight students, currently enrolled at Northeastern University pursuing an undergraduate degree, who disclosed to the Disabilities Resource Center that they have been diagnosed with ADHD. The framework for the research was based on Ryan and Deci’s (2000) Theory of Self-determination. The data was analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Findings included early diagnosis and identification as an essential factor in an individual's growth and academic success as well as the influence of their support systems on their self-awareness and self-confidence. This study specifically looked at the impact of early diagnosis as it relates to the establishment of one's identity. Participants did not define themselves by their disability but by identity they created throughout their college journey, being aware of their disability allowed them to become self- advocates and primary contributor to their success. Individuals with ADHD, who possess strong connections with their support systems, are more
successful in their endeavors and gain a sense of belonging; connections help to navigate their well-being, academic success, and social endeavors. Internal motivation impacts college students with ADHD and their pursuits in higher education, leading them to be more autonomous.

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