ADHD Among College Students: Assessment, Evaluation, and Treatment Options

Noah Warren
September 26, 2023

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect individuals of all ages, including college students.

In this blog post, we delve into the incidence of ADHD among college students, the signs to look out for, and the steps to take for assessment and evaluation.

Furthermore, we explore various treatment options, including medication, which can help college students manage the challenges associated with ADHD.

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Understanding ADHD and its Incidence

ADHD is characterized by symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, which can significantly impact academic and personal functioning. While it is challenging to determine the precise incidence of ADHD among college students, research suggests that the condition is prevalent in this population.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology found that approximately 3-7% of college students meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. This highlights the importance of recognizing and addressing the needs of college students navigating ADHD-related challenges.

Signs of ADHD among College Students

Identifying the signs of ADHD in college students is crucial for early intervention and support. Some common signs and symptoms may include:


  • Difficulty sustaining focus on tasks
  • Poor organization and time management
  • Forgetfulness or frequent misplacing of belongings


  • Restlessness and difficulty sitting still
  • Excessive talking or interrupting others
  • Difficulty engaging in quiet activities


  • Acting impulsively without considering consequences
  • Making careless mistakes in academic or social situations
  • Struggling with impulse control, such as blurting out answers or interrupting conversations

Assessment and Psychiatric Evaluation

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have ADHD, it is crucial to seek a comprehensive assessment and psychiatric evaluation. The assessment process typically involves gathering information from multiple sources, including self-report questionnaires, interviews, and input from family members or teachers.

Dr. Russell A. Barkley, a leading expert in ADHD, emphasizes the importance of obtaining a proper evaluation. He states, "An expert evaluation is needed to determine whether symptoms meet the criteria for ADHD and to differentiate it from other conditions that may mimic ADHD."

Treatment Options

After a comprehensive assessment, if a diagnosis of ADHD is confirmed, college students can explore various treatment options tailored to their individual needs. These options may include:


  • Stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate or amphetamines, are commonly prescribed for ADHD management. These medications can help improve focus, attention, and impulse control. It is important to consult with a psychiatrist and monitor any potential side effects or concerns.

Behavioral Therapy

  • Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can provide practical strategies to manage symptoms of ADHD. CBT helps individuals develop effective organizational skills, time management techniques, and coping mechanisms.

Academic Support and Accommodations

  • Working with college resources, such as disability support services, can provide access to academic accommodations. These may include extended time for exams, note-taking assistance, or quieter environments for studying, ensuring an equitable college experience.


ADHD among college students presents unique challenges that can impact academic performance, personal well-being, and overall quality of life. Recognizing the incidence and signs of ADHD is essential for early intervention and support.

Through comprehensive assessment and psychiatric evaluation, students can garner a better understanding of their needs and explore appropriate treatment options, including medication, behavioral therapy, and academic support.

Remember, seeking professional guidance is crucial in determining the best course of action for managing ADHD symptoms effectively. By acknowledging and addressing ADHD-related challenges, college students can thrive academically and create a fulfilling college experience. Contact Roots Mental Wellness today.

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Noah Warren
Director of Business Development