An Exploration of the Experiences and Perceptions of Young People in Further Education with a Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Prof Doc Thesis

Blake, Ross 2016. An Exploration of the Experiences and Perceptions of Young People in Further Education with a Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Psychology
AuthorsBlake, Ross
TypeProf Doc Thesis

The educational experience of four young adults with a diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were explored with a view to thinking about how their experiences can inform the practice of Educational Psychologists. The children and families act has had a profound impact on EP practice. EP’s are now expected to support young people between the ages of 16-25. The four young adults contributed a rich and unique perspective into what it is like to exist in mainstream school with the diagnosis. Their lived experience provided insights into the controversial narratives that surround ADHD, such as the legitimacy of the condition and the manner in which professionals support them.
Using in-depth qualitative semi structured interviews, 4 young people with a medical diagnosis of ADHD aged between 18-24 years gave an in-depth insight into their lived school experiences. The research focused on how the participants’ perceived that having a medical diagnosis of ADHD impacted on their educational journey. The researcher adopted the epistemological positon of a social constructionist and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis(IPA) was used as the methodology for the research. This was due to IPA having an explicitly phenomenological commitment to discerning individual meaning and a clear idiographic emphasis.
Key Themes for individuals were Cultural Reinforcement of Normality, Discriminatory Practise, Living with an Unwanted Self and the Transformative self. The group themes that emerged from the participants lived school experience were 1) Psychological Homeostasis, 2) Identity, 3) Self Concept, 4) Professional Disappointment and 5) Positive Relationships.
The findings of this research have some potentially significant implications for Educational Psychologists. Young people expressed different beliefs about the legitimacy of ADHD and its impact on their educational experiences. These beliefs and attitudes were influenced by the participant’s social and cultural environments. The research unearthed themes that demonstrated the participants’ had formed significant negative perceptions of teaching staff and professionals. EP’s should consider moving to a strength based perception of ADHD. Individuals diagnosed with ADHD need a balanced intervention plan that focuses not only on managing undesirable behaviours but also builds on their strengths and positive aspects.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintJul 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited24 Apr 2017
Publisher's version
Permalink -

Download files

  • 308
    total views
  • 1081
    total downloads
  • 5
    views this month
  • 12
    downloads this month

Export as