Symptoms of ADHD and academic concerns in college students with and without ADHD diagnoses

Lawrence J. Lewandowski, Benjamin J. Lovett, Robin S. Codding, Michael Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Objective: Previous research has found ADHD symptoms to be common in the general population but has not compared endorsement of symptoms between ADHD and non-ADHD groups. This study examines self-reported ADHD symptoms and academic complaints in college students. Method: Students without (n = 496) and with ADHD (n = 38) completed a questionnaire covering the 18 ADHD symptoms in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and academic and test-taking concerns. Results and Conclusion: Students with ADHD diagnoses reported significantly more ADHD symptoms and academic concerns, but none of the 18 symptoms or 6 concerns proved to be both sensitive and specific to ADHD. Poor specificity of symptoms and academic complaints casts doubt on the utility of this self-reported information in diagnosis, particularly if used alone and without regard to severity or extent of impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-161
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • ADHD
  • College students
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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