Basic Psychological Needs of Undergraduate Students with and without High ADHD Symptomatology


  • Rylee Oram University of Ottawa, Canada
  • Molly Daffner-Deming Mass General Hospital for Children, United States of America
  • Jae Hyung Ahn Lehigh University, United States of America
  • Maria Rogers Carleton University, Canada
  • George DuPaul Lehigh University, United States of America



Self-Determination Theory, Undergraduate Mental Health, ADHD


It is well-established in research that students who experience attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology experience academic difficulties. Despite an influx of research on this population, there is still an opportunity to improve the relevant supports and resources necessary to facilitate academic success. The current study examined whether post-secondary students with high (ADHD) symptomatology perceived their classrooms as less autonomy-supportive than post-secondary students without high levels of ADHD symptomatology. A case-control design was used for this study. Participants were undergraduate students with high levels of ADHD symptomatology (n = 49) and without (n = 39) from a large Canadian university. A multivariate Hotelling T2 test was used to compare groups on their self-reported perceptions of basic psychological needs (BPN). College students with high ADHD symptomatology reported less relatedness at school (d = 0.69), but greater levels of competence (d = 0.70). Students with high ADHD symptomatology in this study reported significantly more negative relationships at school than students without high ADHD symptomatology. However, those with high ADHD symptomatology in this sample may represent a higher functioning subset of individuals with high ADHD symptomatology. The results of this study suggest additional avenues that can be explored to develop and implement evidence-based academic resources that can provide students with high ADHD symptomatology relevant skills.


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How to Cite

Oram, R., Daffner-Deming, M., Ahn, J. H., Rogers, M., & DuPaul, G. (2023). Basic Psychological Needs of Undergraduate Students with and without High ADHD Symptomatology. Canadian Journal of Educational and Social Studies, 3(1), 17–28.