ADHD in college students

J Atten Disord. 2006 Aug;10(1):9-19. doi: 10.1177/1087054705286061.


Objective: According to the American Psychiatric Association, 3% to 7% of the school-age population has ADHD and many children continue to display significant symptoms throughout adolescences and adulthood. Relative to the childhood literature, less is known about ADHD in adults, especially college students with ADHD. The principle purpose of this review articles is to summarize the major research findings concerning ADHD in the college student population with regard to prevalence of symptoms, neuropsychological and psychological functioning. Overall, findings suggest that college students with ADHD are at greater risk for academic and psychological difficulties, and they perform similar to non-ADHD controls on many neuropsychological tasks. These findings are preliminary, however, and are tempered by the small number of studies that have been conducted as well as the methodological limitations of these studies.

Conclusion: Future research using larger sample sizes, rigorous assessment criteria, and a longitudinal design is needed to better understand the psychological, academic, and neuropsychological functioning of college students with ADHD. Studies are also needed to elucidate the effects of pharmacological and nonpharmacological effects of treatment on the functioning of college students with this disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Universities*