Subjective Distress Associated with Adult ADHD: evaluation of a new self-report

Atten Defic Hyperact Disord. 2018 Mar;10(1):77-86. doi: 10.1007/s12402-017-0234-9. Epub 2017 Jun 10.

Abstract

The current study aims at documenting the psychometric properties of the Subjective Distress Associated with Adult ADHD-Self-Report (SDAAA-SR), a newly developed instrument for the assessment of psychological suffering in ADHD adults. The SDAAA-SR was administered to 247 students and 142 ADHD adults. Factor structure, internal consistency, test-retest reliability, convergent validity and discriminant validity were assessed. Sensitivity to change was examined in a subsample of 25 ADHD patients who participated in a 1-year therapy. The initial pool of 62 items was reduced to 33 items distributed in a three-component structure. Internal consistency was excellent for the "distress due to inattention/disorganization" subscale and good for the "distress due to hyperactivity/impulsivity" and "distress due to self-esteem deficit" subscales. Test-retest reliability in a subsample of 98 students was substantial for all three subscales. ADHD patients scored significantly higher than students on distress due to "inattention/disorganization" and "hyperactivity/impulsivity," but no difference was observed for "self-esteem deficit." The components "inattention/disorganization" and "hyperactivity/impulsivity" displayed moderate to large correlations with the corresponding dimensions of the Adult Self-Report Scale for ADHD (ASRS-V1.1). Distress due to "inattention/disorganization" and "self-esteem deficit" was significantly associated with lower satisfaction with social behaviors (QFS, social functioning questionnaire) and quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF). Distress due to "inattention/disorganization" and "self-esteem deficit" significantly decreased after a 1-year therapy. The SDAAA-SR represents a reliable and valid measure of adult ADHD-associated distress, an important but often undocumented parameter in the clinical setting. Its use as an outcome variable in psychological interventions deserves further investigation.

Keywords: ADHD; Adult; Instrument validation; Psychological distress.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychotherapy
  • Self Report
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Young Adult