Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adulthood is conceptualized as originating in childhood. Despite considerable theoretical interest, little is known about how ADHD symptoms relate to normal personality traits in adults. In 6 studies, the Big Five personality dimensions were related to ADHD symptoms that adults both recalled from childhood and reported concurrently (total N = 1,620). Substantial effects emerged that were replicated across samples. First, the ADHD symptom cluster of inattention-disorganization was substantially related to low Conscientiousness and, to a lesser extent, Neuroticism. Second, ADHD symptom clusters of hyperactivity-impulsivity and oppositional childhood and adult behaviors were associated with low Agreeableness. Results were replicated with self-reports and observer reports of personality in community and clinical samples. Findings support theoretical connections between personality traits and ADHD symptoms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science