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Experiences of Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Relationship to Executive Function Deficits Julie Linda Bull Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Staffordshire and Keele Universities for the jointly awarded degree of Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. June 2014

Bull, Julie Linda (2014) Experiences of Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Relationship to Executive Function Deficits Julie Linda Bull Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Staffordshire and Keele Universities for the jointly awarded degree of Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. June 2014. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

Thesis Abstract

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterised by symptoms of hyperactivity,
impulsivity and attentional difficulties. Originally thought to be a condition of childhood, ADHD
has now been recognised in adults.

One of the main theoretical explanations of ADHD is related to deficits in Executive Functioning
(EF). The state of current knowledge regarding the relationship between EF and ADHD was reviewed.
Findings suggest that adults with ADHD are likely to exhibit deficits in EF mainly related to
response inhibition, set-shifting or working memory. Deficits in EF as shown on neuropsychological
tests may help to identify people who are at risk of under achieving in various life domains such
as education or occupation. Tests of EF which are more ecologically valid may be more sensitive to
EF dysfunction than traditional measures.

The experience of having adult ADHD and preferences for support were explored using Interpretative
Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Four super- ordinate themes emerged from five interviews: 'Process
of adapting to ADHD', 'Social Appraisal', 'Self-regulation' and 'Coping'. Participants described an
adjustment process which impacted on their identity and the impact on self-perception was evident.
ADHD was not understood well by others and some participants experienced stigma and bullying. A
range of coping strategies were identified and clinical implications and limitations of the study
were discussed.

Finally, a commentary and reflexive analysis of the research process was offered and factors
influential to the research were discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: A300 Clinical Medicine
C800 Psychology
Depositing User: Linda FRADLEY
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2015 16:14
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2015 16:14
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/2058

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