Is It The Medications Or The Symptoms? Examining Perceptions Of ADHD In College Students

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mia Jamison Cave (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Will Canu

Abstract: This study examined how perception of people with ADHD is influenced by observation of ADHD symptoms and knowledge of prescribed stimulant medication use (PSMU). Ninety-two undergraduates individually watched a video of a target person either not showing symptoms nor indicating PSMU, not showing symptoms but indicating PSMU, showing symptoms but not indicating PSMU, or both showing symptoms and indicating PSMU. Participants then completed questionnaire measures of their degree of liking of and desire for affiliation with the target, as well as level of knowledge about ADHD and their perception of PSMU acceptability. Results indicated that depictions of symptoms were perceived more negatively than normal behavior, and that symptoms had a larger effect than PSMU on stigma. In fact, PSMU did not seem to significantly influence opinions of the targets, as a combination of symptoms and PSMU did not result in significantly lower scores, as compared to a depiction of symptoms alone. Generally, this provides evidence that the symptoms of ADHD are the primary driver of negative stigma, not PMSU.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Cave, M. (2019). Is It The Medications Or The Symptoms? Examining Perceptions Of ADHD In College Students. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2019
ADHD, Stigma, Stimulant medication

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