Educational experiences of young people with ADHD in the UK: Secondary analysis of qualitative data from the CATCh‐uS mixed‐methods study

Abigail Emma Russell*, Simon Benham‐Clarke, Tamsin Ford, Helen Eke, Anna Price, Siobhan Mitchell, Tamsin Newlove‐Delgado, Darren Moore, Astrid Janssens


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Background: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity. Young people with ADHD have poorer educational and social outcomes than their peers. We aimed to better understand educational experiences of young people with ADHD in the UK, and make actionable recommendations for schools. Methods: In this secondary analysis of qualitative data, we used Thematic Analysis to analyse information relating to experiences of education from 64 young people with ADHD and 28 parents who participated in the Children and adolescents with ADHD in Transition between Children's services and adult Services (CATCh-uS) study. Emerging patterns within and across codes led to organization of the data into themes and subthemes through an iterative process. Results: Two main themes were generated. The first described young people's early experiences of education, often within a mainstream setting; we labelled this the problematic provision loop, as this was a negative cycle that was repeated several times for some participants. The second theme described young people's more positive progression through education once they progressed out of the problematic loop. Conclusions: Educational experiences for young people with ADHD are often negative and fraught with complication. Young people with ADHD often found themselves on a more positive trajectory after they were placed in an alternative form of education provision (mainstream or otherwise), or where they were able to study topics that interest them and play to their strengths. We make recommendations that commissioners, local authorities and schools could consider in order to better support those with ADHD.

TidsskriftBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)941-959
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2023


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