Voices of self-determined college students with ADHD: Undergraduates' perceptions of factors that influence their academic success

Date of Completion

January 2004


Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Special|Education, Higher




Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) represent a growing presence in postsecondary settings. While transition, academic, and affective barriers have been identified, little is known about how students overcome these challenges. Highly self-determined adults with disabilities have achieved better academic and employment outcomes. A phenomenological study explored the perceptions of six university undergraduates with ADHD regarding academic success. Participants had high grade point averages (GPA) and comparatively high scores on the Self-Determination Student Scale (S-DSS). Barriers included a lack of information about ADHD, difficulties with self-regulation, and interactions with people who misunderstood their disability. Participants adapted by utilizing strategies and supports, developing networks that offered academic and emotional assistance, and in almost all cases “reframing” their definitions of academic success. ^