Publication Date

Spring 2020


School of Behavioral Sciences


Psychology: Child/Adolescent Development


ADHD, psychology students, knowledge, experiences, attitudes


Development Studies | Disability Studies | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by persistent inattention, which might or might not accompany hyperactivity and impulsivity, that noticeably interferes with functioning and development in at least two settings. It is a commonly diagnosed childhood mental health disorder. Public knowledge and attitudes towards ADHD are an important consideration for those who are going to potentially be working with that population. Research has shown older children and parents may attribute ADHD behavior to poor social skills or immaturity. Teachers often report feeling unprepared to have a student with ADHD and would like more training. Some research has shown the perpetuation of common misconceptions of ADHD by parents and teachers. This research sought to determine if there was a correlation between knowledge of ADHD and stigma towards individuals with ADHD and to determine if students majoring in psychology differed from their peers on knowledge about ADHD or attitudes towards individuals with ADHD. After surveying 131 students from a faith-based, private university in Virginia, it was found that those majoring in psychology did not have significant differences in knowledge of ADHD or stigma towards people with ADHD when compared to students in other majors. Both knowledge and stigma scores were high across groups and no significant correlation between knowledge and attitudes was found. Findings have implications for university students diagnosed with ADHD and administrators working to reduce the stigma of ADHD on campus.