Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

School Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Margaret Beebe-Frankenberger

Commitee Members

Stuart Hall, Daniel Denis, Cameo Stanick, Kari Harris


academic achievement, ADHD, College Students, comorbid disorders, Learning Disorder, Neuropsychological assessment


University of Montana


Despite the abundance of studies investigating Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children and adults, little research has focused on ADHD and comorbid learning disabilities (LD) in college students. The dearth of research in this population is becoming increasingly important given that ADHD and LD are the two most commonly reported and diagnosed disabilities in higher academic institutions (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011). As a result, clinicians' are continually faced with the difficult task of determining sensitive and valid assessment measures to use with this population. While some overlap exists between college students and younger and older counterparts, research has shown that this subpopulation represents a distinct subgroup of young adults further complicating diagnostic decisions and, ultimately, subsequent accommodation and intervention recommendations based on assessment results (Frazier, Youngstrom, Glutting, & Watkins, 2007). Little is known about the degree of concordance between self- and other reports of ADHD symptoms, both of which are commonly used in diagnostic decisions. This study was designed to investigate the relationship between self- and other reports of childhood/current ADHD symptoms and neurocognitive and academic achievement performance. Data for this study is based on students at-risk for learning and/or attention disorders that sought a comprehensive psychological evaluation at the University of Georgia Regents' Center for Learning Disorders. The sample (N = 347) was comprised of three groups: (1) ADHD; (2) LD; and, (3) ADHD+LD. Participants were classified into three groups based on the results of the evaluation process and clinical diagnoses. Assessments utilized in this study included criterion- and norm-referenced ADHD measures, academic achievement, IQ, verbal memory, working memory, and processing speed tests. Results suggest that the relationship between self- and other ratings is strongest within scales regardless of time (childhood, current) or type of informant (self, parent). ADHD behaviors, as rated by self- and other report, were weakly correlated with neurocognitive measures and moderately associated with academic achievement test. Measures most sensitive to group differences were academic achievement tests; by in large, neurocognitive tests did not differentiate groups. Implications for future research are discussed.



© Copyright 2014 Eric Aune