Date of Submission

2023

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Brad Rosenfield, PsyD

Second Advisor

Susan Panichelli Mindel, PhD

Third Advisor

Russell Ramsay, PhD

Abstract

Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience many difficulties in daily functioning. It is theorized that some of the difficulties experienced by adults with ADHD result from cognitive distortions. Although previous studies have identified a preliminary relationship between cognitive distortions and ADHD, which may be accounted for by comorbid disorders; these studies did not measure ADHD-specific cognitive distortions after accounting for these comorbidities. The purpose of the current study was to assess the relationship between the frequency of ADHD-specific cognitive distortions, operationalized as ADHD Cognition Scale (ACS) and the severity of adult ADHD, operationalized as the Brown Executive Function/Attention Scale (BEF/A), after accounting for personality pathology/neuroticism, depression, and anxiety. Furthermore, the current study investigated the relationship between two separate measures of cognitive distortions: The ACS and the Inventory of Cognitive Distortions (ICD). Results demonstrated that all but one of the predictor variables of cognitive distortions, depression, and neuroticism, were associated with the severity of adult ADHD, apart from anxiety. However, after accounting for these predictors, ADHD-specific cognitive distortions did not make a statistically significant contribution to the severity of adult ADHD. As such, these findings suggest that the relationship between severity of adult ADHD is better explained by comorbidities. Lastly, the results of this study found a significant positive relationship between cognitive distortions as measured by the ICD and cognitive distortions measured by the ACS. Hopefully, the present study is an informative addition to the understanding of ADHD-specific cognitive distortions and will improve evaluation and recommendations for treatment for this complex and challenging disorder.

COinS