Preliminary normative data on DSM-IV attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in college students

J Am Coll Health. 1998 Jan;46(4):185-8. doi: 10.1080/07448489809595609.


Identification of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults presents a number of problems because there is no one specific diagnostic test for the condition. Given this challenge, clinicians often struggle between restrictive and exclusionary diagnostic methods or overinclusive acceptance that ADHD is a prevalent and disabling problem. A modified version of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Rating Scale was administered to 468 students at a large midwestern university. Analysis of the results suggested that the degree of ADHD symptoms in college students is modest and indicated that cutoff scores of 4 for current symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity would be sufficient to identify a college student as distinct from the norm. Although it would be premature to accept the calculated thresholds completely, clinicians should be aware of these differences when evaluating college students for ADHD.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / classification
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Students*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities