The relationship between ADHD symptoms in college students and core components of maladaptive personality

Gisli H. Gudjonsson*, Jon Fridrik Sigurdsson, Helga Berglind Gudmundsdóttir, Sigrídur Sigurjónsdóttir, Jakob Smari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The main purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and core maladaptive personality problems (i.e., functional impairment). The participants were 397 college students in Iceland, who were screened for childhood and current ADHD symptoms (DSM-IV Checklist) and completed the Reasoning and Rehabilitation (R&R) ADHD Training Evaluation Scale (RATE) and the Severity Indices of Personality Problems (SIPP). There was a significant overlap between some of the SIPP and RATE domains. ADHD symptoms correlated significantly with the SIPP domains. Multiple regressions showed that ADHD symptoms were associated with SIPP Responsibility beyond Self-Control. In addition, inattention was a much better predictor of the Responsibility domain than hyperactivity/impulsivity. The findings show that ADHD symptoms are significantly related to core components of maladaptive personality, but salient differences exist between the attentional and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms. The findings clearly link inattention in adults primarily to impaired capacity to set and achieve aspired goals as a core personality problem. This adds to the growing evidence that functional impairment is significantly associated with adult ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-606
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010

Other keywords

  • ADHD
  • Functional impairment
  • Hyperactivity/impulsivity
  • Inattention
  • Maladaptive personality (SIPP)
  • RATE
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
  • Auditory Perceptual Disorders


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