Objective: ADHD affects between 2% and 8% of college students and is associated with broad functional impairment. No prior randomized controlled trials with this population have been published. The present study is a pilot randomized controlled trial evaluating dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) group skills training adapted for college students with ADHD.
Method: Thirty-three undergraduates with ADHD between ages 18 and 24 were randomized to receive either DBT group skills training or skills handouts during an 8-week intervention phase. ADHD symptoms, executive functioning (EF), and related outcomes were assessed at baseline, post-treatment, and 3-month follow-up.
Results: Participants receiving DBT group skills training showed greater treatment response rates (59-65% vs. 19-25%) and clinical recovery rates (53-59% vs. 6-13%) on ADHD symptoms and EF, and greater improvements in quality of life.
Conclusion: DBT group skills training may be efficacious, acceptable, and feasible for treating ADHD among college students. A larger randomized trial is needed for further evaluation.
Keywords: adult ADHD treatment; college students; dialectical behavior therapy; executive functioning; mindfulness.
© 2014 SAGE Publications.