Date of Award

Fall 12-18-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences


Health and Medical Sciences


Genevieve Pinto-Zipp, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Terrence Cahill, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Fortunato Battaglia, Ph.D.


ADHD, Learning Styles, Academic Difficulty, College Age Students


ADHD is a persistent neurobehavioral disorder in children with a prevalence rate of 5-10%. Symptoms of the disorder include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity behavior. These symptoms are believed to have a great impact on the child’s cognitive and academic functions and children with ADHD are believed to have difficulty mastering basic academic skills. Historically, ADHD was believed to be a disorder only observed in children, however, it is estimated 66% of children with ADHD continue to be symptomatic as they enter adulthood. Students with a diagnosis of ADHD have higher dropout rates, lower standardized math and reading tests scores, and repeat more college courses than normally developing students. Learning Styles have been suggested to facilitate the gaining of new knowledge. Knowing your learning style preference can have a positive impact on their academic growth and acquisition of knowledge. The purpose of this study was to explore the learning style preferences of college age students with ADHD and the impact ADHD has on their study habits and academic success. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Models and Malcolm Knowles Adult Learning Theory were used as a theoretical framework guiding this study. This is an exploratory qualitative phenomenological study. The study consisted of ten college age students with a diagnosis of ADHD. The findings of the study indicated college age students with ADHD have a preferred learning style. Additionally, these students need engagement in the classroom and faculty support. They are typical adult learners with a need for internal and external motivation and additional support to help them success academically.