Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP
Brad Rosenfield, Psy.D., Chairperson
Virginia Salzer, Ph.D.
Sarah E. Stookey, D.O., Ph.D.
Approximately seven million adults meet the diagnostic criteria for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the prevalence rate is between 3.3 and 5.3%; however, these are likely underestimates because the diagnostic criteria are based on those originally devised for children, aged four to 17 years. Not only does this underdiagnosis cause a problem in making an accurate diagnosis, but also the high rate (65-89%) of psychiatric comorbidity complicates the situation, resulting in poorer treatment outcome for individuals with comorbid diagnoses, when compared with those who have no comorbid diagnoses. Therefore, the current study was designed to examine whether or not the presence of personality disorder symptoms will hinder treatment and result in poorer treatment outcomes in individuals with ADHD. This is an archival study, based on Rostain and Ramsay (2006). The hypotheses were as follows: 1) There will be a significant reduction in symptoms of ADHD and mood disorders after a combined treatment including medication and cognitive behavioral therapy; 2) There will be a positive association between symptoms of ADHD and maladaptive beliefs, both pre- and post-treatment; 3) The presence of maladaptive thinking, attendant to personality disorders, will interfere with reductions in ADHD symptoms; and 4) The presence of a personality disorder will interfere with reductions in symptoms of mood disorders. Forty-three participants took part in the study; however, only 35 reports were retained for this study. The first hypothesis was supported, and the second hypothesis was partially supported. The third hypothesis was not supported. Interestingly, in terms of the fourth hypothesis, those with symptoms of dependent, antisocial, and avoidant personality disorder appeared to have a greater improvement of mood symptoms, post-treatment.
Tomer, Emily M., "Differential Effects of Personality Disorders on Treatment Outcome for Adult Patients with ADHD" (2010). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 139.