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Risky Behavior and Impulsive Sensation Seeking in Young Adults with ADHD and Young Adults Who Report ADHD Symptoms

by Zimak, Eric H.

Abstract (Summary)
Though only 1-5% of the young adult population suffers from an adult ADHD diagnosis, approximately 30% of young adults self-report significantly impairing ADHD symptoms. Little is known about how adults who experience high levels of current ADHD symptoms but do not meet diagnostic criteria for ADHD differ from adults who clearly meet diagnostic criteria for ADHD. The current investigation examined differences in risky behavior and personality characteristics among adults meeting criteria for an ADHD diagnosis, adults reporting clinically high levels of ADHD symptoms but who were never diagnosed with ADHD, and an adult control group. As hypothesized, both ADHD groups self-reported higher levels of risk-taking behavior and personality traits, risky alcohol use, and recreational drug use relative to controls. Additionally, both ADHD groups showed greater risk-taking behavior on one of two risky behavior tasks than controls. However, with the exception of one risky decision making task, the ADHD groups did not differ from one another. Results provide further evidence that young adults with ADHD are generally riskier than normal controls, but not riskier than young adults who report current ADHD symptoms but have no childhood history of the disorder. Reasons for the lack of differences between the two ADHD groups, along with clinical assessment and treatment implications of the findings, are discussed.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Ohio University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:adhd risky behavior young adults

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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