Research Summary: Measurement of Stigmatization towards Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder



In general, assessment tools for stigma in mental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are lacking. Moreover, misbeliefs and misconceptions about ADHD are common, in particular with regard to the adult form of ADHD. The aim of the present study was to develop a questionnaire measuring stigma in adults with ADHD and to demonstrate its sensitivity.


A questionnaire initially containing 64 items associated with stigma in adults with ADHD was developed. A total number of 1261 respondents were included in the analyses. The psychometric properties were investigated on a sample of 1033 participants. The sensitivity of the questionnaire was explored on 228 participants consisting of teachers, physicians and control participants.


Thirty-seven items were extracted due to exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and the internal consistency of items. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) revealed good psychometric properties of a 6-factor structure. Teachers and physicians differed significantly in their stigmatizing attitudes from control participants.


The present data shed light on various dimensions of stigma in adult ADHD. Reliability and Social Functioning, Malingering and Misuse of Medication, Ability to Take Responsibility, Norm-violating and Externalizing Behavior, Consequences of Diagnostic Disclosure and Etiology represent critical aspects associated with stigmatization.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 19-December-2012

Author(s): Fuermaier A., Tucha L., Koerts J., Mueller A., Lange K., Tucha O.


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