Life satisfaction in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Looking beyond proxy reports

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Problem: A common clinical approach to children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is to view them through an adult-proxy report of problems. There is little evidence on how children with ADHD evaluate their life satisfaction, how their evaluations compare with unaffected children, or how their perspectives might inform clinical practice. Methods: A parallel convergent mixed-methods design was used to interview 20 children (aged, 7–11 years) with ADHD. This report presents the children's responses to the 40-item Multidimensional Student Life Satisfaction Scale. Parents/guardians (N = 20) provided contextual data consisting of demographics, ADHD-related items, and health literacy. Findings: Total life satisfaction (M = 3.08, SD = 0.35) fell within the 95% CI [2.91, 3.25] of comparative data. Overall subscale ratings (high to low) included: friends (M = 3.24, SD = 0.60), living environment (M = 3.14, SD = 0.51), family (M = 3.08, SD = 0.51), school (M = 3.0, SD = 0.65), and self (M = 2.93, SD = 0.60). Positive and negative associations are reported. Conclusions: Including a measure of life satisfaction adds a child-centered approach to understanding children with ADHD beyond an adult-proxy report of problems that is contextually and clinically relevant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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