Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Julia A. Ogg

Abstract

Given increased evidence related to the importance of fostering life satisfaction in the overall population (Diener & Diener, 1996), as well as recent suggestions regarding the importance of increasing positive academic and social outcomes for children with ADHD (DuPaul, 2007), it is important to gain a clearer understanding of how life satisfaction may be related to symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. Research on the relationship between life satisfaction and symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity is currently limited to two studies (Gudjonsson et al., 2009; Ogg et al., 2014). The current study investigated the relationship between symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity and reports of global life satisfaction in 399 high school students. This study used the bifactor model to conceptualize ADHD given that this model provided the best fit when compared to other models of ADHD in the current study and given that there is substantial evidence in the current literature to support the use of this model (Martel, von Eye, & Nigg, 2010). Structural equation modeling results demonstrated that the general factor of ADHD was a significant predictor of life satisfaction when students rated ADHD symptoms, and the inattention factor of ADHD was a significant predictor of life satisfaction when teachers rated ADHD symptoms. In addition, because depressive symptoms have been associated with life satisfaction and inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, the current study examined if life satisfaction moderated or mediated the relationship between inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity and depressive symptoms. Results of the present study suggested that life satisfaction serves as a potential but weak moderator in the relationship between general ADHD and depression when symptoms of ADHD were rated by teachers. Results also demonstrated that life satisfaction mediated the relationship between general ADHD symptoms and depressive symptoms when ADHD symptoms were rated by students, and life satisfaction mediated the relationship between inattentive symptoms and depressive symptoms when ADHD symptoms were rated by teachers.

The current study contributes to existing literature on life satisfaction given that there are currently only two studies, one which was conducted with an adult population and one of which was conducted with a middle school population, specifically examining levels of life satisfaction in individuals with symptoms of ADHD. The results of this study provide additional confirmation of the negative relationship between ADHD symptoms and life satisfaction. Moreover, this study was the first to examine how life satisfaction may play a role in the relationship between symptoms of ADHD and depressive symptoms. This study supports that life satisfaction primarily plays a mediating role in the relationship between ADHD symptoms and depressive symptoms and provides support for further examination of this role in future studies.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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