Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smooth Transition: Researchers Helping Freshmen with ADHD Succeed in College

Date:
August 2, 2012
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
Researchers have studied ways to help freshmen with ADHD plan a successful transition to college. They have found that having management strategies in place before coming to campus helps students succeed. The researchers have developed recommendations for ways that universities and families can support college students with ADHD.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, affects 1 to 4 percent of college students, according to national studies. For freshmen with ADHD, the transition to college can be especially difficult.

Kristy Morgan, recent Kansas State University doctoral graduate in student affairs and higher education, Leavenworth, Kan., has studied ways to help college students with ADHD plan a successful transition to college. Research shows that college students with ADHD have a tangible struggle with a medical condition that cannot be dismissed as an everyday struggle.

"Nobody had really studied the transition from high school to college," Morgan said. "Transitions can be the toughest time for people. This can be especially true when the transition is from the home environment where parents have been involved in daily plans, schedules and medication."

"Kristy's research is an important contribution to understanding and facilitating the transition to college for students with ADHD," said Kenneth Hughey, professor and head of the department of special education, counseling and student affairs, and Morgan's major professor for her doctoral work. "The results and the recommendations that followed are intended to help students with ADHD make a successful transition, their parents as they support their children in the transition, and student affairs professionals who work with the students once they are on campus."

Morgan interviewed eight freshmen -- four men and four women -- to talk about their transition during their first semester of college. The freshmen were all living on campus and were at least an hour away from home.

Morgan found that these students with ADHD did not adequately plan their college transition. They did not factor ADHD into their decision-making about college, but rather chose a college based on how the campus felt, the reputation of the school or that it was where they had always wanted to attend.

"Most of the students found college to be tougher than they had expected," Morgan said. "Even with the availability of resources, they still felt overwhelmed with accessing these resources."

Students who had ADHD management strategies in place -- such as ways to keep a schedule or study for tests -- had established those before college, Morgan found. Students who did not have strategies in place before they went to college felt overwhelmed.

"A big struggle for students was adjusting to increased freedom and increased responsibility," Morgan said. "They anticipated loving the freedom of college and being away from their parents. But they also realized that college required responsibility and that responsibility was overwhelming to them."

Morgan found that parents and families continued to play a huge role in the transition process. Parents became involved in students' college activities at a vigilant level -- they served as alarm clocks, organized their rooms and continued to manage medical care.

"The parents filled prescriptions and contacted doctors even while the student was at college, which was surprising to me," Morgan said. "The students really did not handle it independently."

As a result, the students often lacked basic knowledge of ADHD and how their medication worked. Yet they believed that medication was crucial to their success in college because they needed it to help focus during lectures and studying time.

"There were some students who took medication sporadically prior to college," Morgan said. "They realized that to be successful in college, their medication moved from optional to mandatory."

Side effects influenced how often students took medication. Some students would not take medication because they felt it made them not as fun in social situations. The women in the study were more likely to consistently take medication because it helped suppress their appetites and manage weight. The men were more likely to skip their medication to have a good time.

Students with ADHD need support from family members and university staff to succeed, Morgan said. She developed recommendations for universities and families to support college students who have ADHD:

* Families should inform students about their diagnoses. All too often, families have not educated students with ADHD because they think it might be just a childhood condition that they will outgrow.

* Universities can streamline processes and make it easier for students to access resources. Students with ADHD are not likely to wait in long lines or fill out a lot of paperwork for resources.

* Academic advisers can help students carefully structure their schedules for success. Many students with ADHD benefit when classes are scheduled close to each other, rather than spread out during an entire day. Advisers can also help students schedule classes with engaging professors and in rooms that have few distractions, such as windows or high-traffic hallways.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Smooth Transition: Researchers Helping Freshmen with ADHD Succeed in College." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120802122317.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2012, August 2). Smooth Transition: Researchers Helping Freshmen with ADHD Succeed in College. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120802122317.htm
Kansas State University. "Smooth Transition: Researchers Helping Freshmen with ADHD Succeed in College." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120802122317.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins