Date of Award

Spring 2-27-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Christopher Maddox, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Judy Shoemaker, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Karen Ellefsen, Ph.D.


Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) struggle with more learning challenges than any other group of students; these individuals may experience spiritual fragmentation that impacts the effectiveness of academic program structure and learning outcomes. The purpose of this hermeneutic, phenomenological study was to explore college students with ADHD are affected by disassociation and fragmentation. The conceptual framework for this study was based on the constructionist theories of Maslow, Vygotsky, and Erikson. Purposeful sampling included 39 participants using a Qualtircs survey as the instrument. In addition, five of these parcipants were also interviewed. Data were analyzed through open, axial, and selective coding to identify common patterns and themes of behavior from the participants. The Qualtrics Survey and interviews revealed that 75% of participants understood the textbook definition of fragmentation but only 33% of participants understood how fragmentation hindered their ability to learn. Seventy one percent of participants had experienced trauma in their lives with 48% having that trauma cause them to fail in academia, jobs, and relationships. Regardless of these high failure rates 62% of particpants felt that they had strong enough coping skills in place to cope with life issues with 82% of these particpants still struggling with negative coping skils such as binge drinking, illegal drugs, overspending and over eating. The implications of this study may affect students, parents, educators, universities curriculum, and military personal who struggle with these conditions by increasing awareness of effective tools and strategies used to improve the learning outcomes of students with ADHD.