Avery Albert

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Kevin Antshel

Second Advisor

Aesoon Park


ADHD;stereotype threat;stigma;testing accommodations

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


ADHD is a common and impairing mental health disorder associated with academic underachievement, among other negative developmental outcomes. Individuals with ADHD experience significant stigma, as ADHD is associated with negative stereotypes such as laziness, carelessness, and lack of intelligence. Given the negative stereotypes associated with ADHD, students with ADHD are at risk for experiencing stereotype threat related to their academic performance. Testing accommodations such as extended time are commonly provided to students with ADHD in academic settings. Although these accommodations are intended to make tests more accessible for students with ADHD, they may also serve as a salient, proximal reminder of students’ stereotyped identity, and thus may hinder their performance on academic tests. No previous study has examined the potential of testing accommodations to induce stereotype threat in students with ADHD. The present study examined this question through a 2 (ADHD vs. no ADHD) by 2 (stereotype threat vs. no stereotype threat condition) between-subject experimental design. Participants were 178 college students (41 with ADHD, 137 without ADHD), who were randomized to participate in a simulated standardized testing situation under either stereotype threat or control conditions. Results revealed that test performance did not significantly differ by group (ADHD vs. no ADHD) or condition (stereotype threat vs. no stereotype threat). There were no significant moderation or mediation effects on the relationship between stereotype threat and test performance. While findings were not consistent with a stereotype threat effect, the present study had several limitations that may help explain why such an effect may not have been observed. Implications and directions for future research are explored.


Open Access