Families help ADHD students in college

Aug. 6, 2012 at 7:22 PM
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MANHATTAN, Kan., Aug. 6 (UPI) -- College students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder need support from family members and university staff to succeed, a U.S. researcher says.

Kristy Morgan, a recent doctoral graduate in student affairs and higher education at Kansas State University in Leavenworth, said ADHD affects 1 percent to 4 percent of college students and the transition from high school to college is the most difficult.

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

Morgan found the ADHD students did not adequately plan their college transition, nor did they factor ADHD into their decision-making about college, but rather chose a school based on how the campus felt.

"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, but those who did not have strategies in place before they went to college felt overwhelmed.

Morgan found parents and families continued to play a huge role -- 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.

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