This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Adherence to ADHD medication during the transition to college: Experiences, needs, and challenges




Schaefer, Megan

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




Self-management of chronic illness is an abrupt challenge for adolescents as they transition into adulthood. This struggle is most evident when they move away to college and no longer have instrumental support for disease management from their parents. Adolescents with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be at an even greater risk for poor self- management and medication adherence, as skills essential to these health behaviors are inherently impaired in these individuals. Despite knowing that self-management during transition to adulthood is particularly difficult for adolescents with chronic illness, little is known about how these individuals manage chronic conditions on their own. Therefore, the current study seeks to explore the medication self-management experiences of adolescents with ADHD on the cusp of transition to young adulthood. Participants will be college freshmen with ADHD prescribed daily medication for their condition. Individual focus interviews will be conducted using a semi-structured interview script. Several measures related to ADHD medication management will also be completed. Data will be analyzed via directed content analysis and descriptive statistics. The knowledge obtained from these interviews will assist in developing future interventions for college freshmen with ADHD.