Alternative Title

How self-concept development impacts psychosocial functioning

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Attention-deficity-hyperactivity disorder, Attention-deficit-disordered youth-Psychology, Self-perception, Internalizing Symptoms Scale for Children, Social skills-Psychological aspects, ADHD, Self-concept, Psychosocial functioning, Ableism, Self-image, Internalizing disorders, Internalizing symptoms, Comorbidity, Depression, Anxiety, Narratives, Qualitative, Thematic analysis


This study explores how young adults with ADHD construct self-concept, and how their self-concept impacts psychosocial functioning. Research shows that those with ADHD are more likely to experience significant setbacks across the lifespan due to impairments that negatively impact functioning in multiple life domains. Several studies note high comorbidity between ADHD and internalizing symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Although existing research suggests neurobiological correlations, there has been little investigation into other causal relationships. This researcher interviewed eight young adults with ADHD hoping to illuminate other possible pathways between ADHD and the presentation of comorbid internalizing symptoms and behaviors. Findings of this study suggest that young adults with ADHD are subject to recurrent misattuned and negative feedback from the relational environment in response to ADHD impairments. Such experiences appear to have a detrimental impact on an individual’s self-concept and psychosocial functioning, thus exacerbating the burden of the condition.




iv, 78 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 49-62)

Included in

Social Work Commons