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The symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are first seen during childhood and can persist throughout adolescence and into adulthood. Symptoms of ADHD can differ between childhood and adulthood, and there can also be a difference in symptoms for African American adults compared to other groups. Childhood social support and mental health stigma can affect the probability of a person seeking professional help. In addition, the severity of their symptoms, especially if untreated, may lead to experiences of impostor syndrome. This study examined these three social behavioral effects in Black adults in three diagnosis conditions: diagnosed as (1) a child, (2) an adult, or (3) undiagnosed but believe they experience symptoms. I hypothesized that those diagnosed as a child would have high childhood social support, low perception of mental health stigma, and low symptoms of impostor syndrome. Black adult participants (n = 224) completed an online survey about their demographic backgrounds, ADHD symptoms, and attitudes toward ADHD stigma, childhood social support, and imposter syndrome. I did not find a significant relationship between the timing of an ADHD diagnosis and the social behavioral measures. However, from exploratory analyses, there was a significant correlational relationship between the severity of ADHD symptoms and mental health stigma, childhood social support, and impostor syndrome symptoms. The study’s results suggest that early diagnosis benefits Black individuals' quality of life and that the diagnostic criteria for ADHD should include social dynamics.
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Hailey, K. N'Kira, "Diversity in Diagnosis: A Comparative Relationship Between the Social Behavioral Effects and Timing of ADHD Diagnosis in African American Adults" (2023). Senior Projects Spring 2023. 326.
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