Anxiety in college students with ADHD

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sarah R. O'Rourke (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Arthur Anastopoulos

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to compare rates of anxiety disorders and symptoms in college students with and without ADHD and to identify factors that protect against anxiety in this population. Forty-six college students with ADHD and a matched control group of 46 students without ADHD participated in this study. Participants completed a diagnostic interview to assess for lifetime and current anxiety disorders; they also completed several measures of anxiety symptoms. As expected, participants with ADHD were more likely to have a lifetime history of an anxiety disorder than participants without ADHD, and were also more likely to report having entered college with a previous history of an anxiety disorder. Participants in the two groups were equally likely to meet diagnostic criteria for a current anxiety disorder. Participants in the ADHD group endorsed significantly lower self-efficacy and significantly higher maladaptive beliefs about worry and obsessive-compulsive symptoms compared with the control group, though the between-group differences in maladaptive beliefs about worry and obsessive-compulsive symptoms were no longer significant when depressive symptoms were covaried. The two groups did not differ on symptoms of panic, social anxiety, or worry, which was unexpected. Perceived social support was associated with a lower risk of having a current anxiety disorder in the ADHD group. The findings of this study highlight the substantial comorbidity that students with ADHD display upon college entry.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Anxiety, Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), College students, Comorbidity
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
Anxiety disorders
College students $x Mental health

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