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.