Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Audrey E. Rabas, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David J. Alba, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Paul T. Frankenhauser, Ph.D.


This study focused on learning about the life experiences of individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD has three major traits: hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. This phenomenological study focused on adults ages 18 to 40. The questions posed were: (a) What barriers or successful strategies do individuals with ADHD encounter as they make their way through the educational system and into the workplace? (b) How do these individuals perceive their academic success or failure? (c) How is or was parental support a factor in their academic success or failure? (d) How is or was teacher support a factor in their academic success or failure? These questions were analyzed through the lens of three theoretical perspectives: the transformative framework, Bronfenbrenner’s theory of human development, and the disability theory. Purposive sampling was used. Five participants took part in the research. The researcher used a semi-structured interview tool for the one-on-one interviews. Four major themes and eleven subthemes were identified through coding. Findings indicate that individuals with ADHD may encounter many academic and social difficulties. Both parent and teacher supports are key factors in bringing about positive outcomes for students with ADHD. Comorbid conditions add to the complexity of ADHD. There is a genetic component associated with ADHD. With supports, many ADHD traits can be controlled.

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