Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in postsecondary students
Kevin Nugent,1 Wallace Smart2,3
1Kinark Child and Family Services, Trent University and Sir Sanford Fleming College, Peterborough, ON, Canada; 2Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada; 3University of Lethbridge Health Centre, Lethbridge, AB, Canada
Abstract: A PubMed review was conducted for papers reporting on attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in postsecondary students. The review was performed in order to determine the prevalence and symptomatology of ADHD in postsecondary students, to examine its effects on academic achievement, and discuss appropriate management. The prevalence of ADHD symptoms among postsecondary students ranges from 2% to 12%. Students with ADHD have lower grade point averages and are more likely to withdraw from courses, to indulge in risky behaviors, and to have other psychiatric comorbidities than their non-ADHD peers. Ensuring that students with ADHD receive appropriate support requires documented evidence of impairment to academic and day-to-day functioning. In adults with ADHD, stimulants improve concentration and attention, although improved academic productivity remains to be demonstrated. ADHD negatively impacts academic performance in students and increases the likelihood of drug and alcohol problems. Affected students may therefore benefit from disability support services, academic accommodations, and pharmacological treatment.
Keywords: adults, academic performance, stimulants, treatment
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