Date of Award

7-25-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (MSCP)

Committee Chair

Michael Christopher, PhD

Abstract

ADHD continues to be a problem affecting not only those with the disorder themselves but also the people they interact with and are close to, as well as society as a whole. Although some treatment options exist, a large percentage of individuals with ADHD remain untreated and many of those who do obtain treatment continue to struggle with the disorder. Those with ADHD and one or more co-occurring psychological disorders are particularly in need of alternative treatment options. To inform the development of alternative treatment options particularly for this population, further research on the relationship between ADHD and frequently co-occurring psychological disorders is critical. A number of studies have suggested that ADHD is predictive of depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse. Studies examining these relationships have not largely focused on the possible presence of a moderating variable. Mindfulness may be conceptually related to these risk factors, as many of the impairments involved in ADHD are shown to improve in association with mindfulness practice, and mindfulness-based interventions have been found to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse. Few studies however have examined how mindfulness might be related to ADHD. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the relationship between ADHD and the following factors: (1) depression, (2) anxiety, (3) alcohol abuse, and (4) mindfulness. As expected, a significant positive relationship was found between ADHD and depression. Also, as expected, significant negative relationships were found between mindfulness and ADHD, mindfulness and depression, and mindfulness and anxiety. Contrary to expectations, a significant relationship was not found between ADHD and anxiety or between ADHD and alcohol consumption. Further, contrary to expectations, level of mindfulness did not significantly moderate the relationship between ADHD and depression, ADHD and anxiety, or ADHD and alcohol consumption. Thus, the present study’s findings did not support the hypothesis that having a disposition towards mindfulness serves as protective factor when it comes to the relationship between ADHD and depression, anxiety, and alcohol consumption. The implications and limitations of these findings, as well as recommendations for future research are discussed.

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