Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. David T. R. Berry

Abstract

College students may feign symptoms of ADHD to gain access to stimulant medications and academic accommodations. Research has shown that it can be difficult to discriminate malingered from genuine symptomatology, especially when evaluations are based only on self-report. The present study investigated whether the average student given no additional information could feign ADHD as successfully as those who were coached on symptoms. Similar to Jasinski, Harp, Berry, Shandera-Ochsner, Mason, & Ranseen (2011) and other research on feigned ADHD, an extensive battery of neuropsychological, symptom validity, and self-report tests was administered. Undergraduates with no history of ADHD or other psychiatric disorders were randomly assigned to one of two simulator groups: a coached group which was given information about ADHD symptoms or a non-coached group which was given no such information. Both simulator groups were asked to feign ADHD. Their performance was compared to a genuine ADHD group and a nonclinical group asked to respond honestly. Self-report, neuropsychological, and effort test performance is discussed in the context of the effect of coaching and regarding its implications for ADHD evaluations.

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