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Resilience and ADHD

Presented by: Kristina Baglo and Danni


Review of Readings
Strength Based Model of Resiliency
Previous Research
Current Research
Protective Factors
Resilience Model of ADHD
Future Research
Group Discussion

Resilience and ADHD


“A child’s achievement of positive
developmental outcomes and avoidance of
maladaptive outcomes under adverse
conditions” (Masten, 2001, p. 228)

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder:

One of the Disruptive Behavior Disorders of
A persistent pattern of inattention,
hyperactivity or impulsivity

Difficulties with ADHD

A small percentage of children with ADHD
manage to adjust and transition well into
young adulthood
ADHD is a disabling condition associated
with an increased risk for:
 Learning

 Educational Failure
 Impaired Social Functioning
 Delinquencies
 Multiple Psychiatric Disorders
 Later Employment Difficulties

Difficulties with ADHD

Social isolation from peers impacts other areas
of development such as self-esteem, coping
skills, and academic progress which impacts
their development of resiliency
Oppositional and aggressive behaviors are more
predictive of outcomes than ADHD diagnosis
Environmental consequences such as marital
discord, ineffective parenting, parent
aggressiveness, and antisocial parent behavior
are more predictive of future outcomes than
ADHD diagnosis

Resilience and Self-Control

ADHD is characterized by age inappropriate
levels of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and
Research indicates it is more a disorder of
inhibition and of maladaptive response
patterns than a disorder of attention
There are many differing theories on ADHD
but research has found that resilience in
the presence of pervasive hyperactivity
does exist

Factors Associated with
Positive Future Outcomes

Living in an in tact household
Living above the poverty level
Having parents free of psychiatric
Consistent parenting styles
Having supportive caring parents

Factors Associated with

Two factors linked with better resilience:
1) Adequate control of ADHD symptoms
2) Controlling aggression and factors leading
to conduct

New Strength Based Model

New strength based model used to
challenge the old deficit based model

Model emphasizes the development of
skills, strengths, and islands of competence
in spite of ADHD
Advocates developing abilities and
fostering talents associated with ADHD
Also suggests that strengths can minimize
the negative impacts and promote

Resiliency and ADHD:
A Dynamic Approach

Teach them to follow through

Encourage helping others

Work alongside children to ensure success
Giving back and helping others provides a
positive experience and increase feelings of

Be supportive

Provide support for your child throughout all
Support child academically, emotionally, and

Resiliency and ADHD:
A Dynamic Approach

Focus on strengths

Instead of focusing on weaknesses, focus on
 Fosters

Offer encouragement and positive

self-esteem and a belief in their abilities

Provide encouragement for all successes
achieved the large and small

Help solve problems

Each mistake made is an opportunity for growth,
instead of critiquing offer support and assistance
in problem solving

Resiliency and ADHD:
Previous Research

A majority of the previous research was
deficit based
A lot of attention given to risk trajectories
(Climie, Mastoras, McCrimmon & Schwean,

Academic difficulties and reduced academic
Significant social difficulties
Increased family dysfunction
High rates of comorbidity

Resiliency and ADHD:
Current Research

Transition to a strength-based focus
Heterogeneity in trajectories (Mastoras,
Studies have shown that many individuals
with ADHD can be successful in certain
domains or even across all domains
Focus has shifted from “preventing or
‘curing’ ADHD to ... coping successfully
with it” (Climie et al., 2013, p. 120)

Resiliency and ADHD:
Current Research

Different variables


Positive adaptation not required in all
We can learn from the strengths children
have despite challenges in other areas
(Climie et al., 2013)

Resiliency and ADHD:

Children with ADHD:

Are often intelligent (Katusic, Voigt,
Colligan, Weaver, Homan et al., 2011)
Have supportive families (Coles, Pelham, &
Gnagy, 2010)
Are equally as creative as their peers
(Healey & Rucklidge, 2005)

Resiliency and ADHD:
Protective Factors

Resilience and the study of protective factors are
central to the promotion of mental health (NIMH,
Research on protective factors in this population is
scarce (Modesto-Lowe, Yelunina, & Hanjan, 2011)

Higher IQ
Family marital and financial stability
Lower early behavioural problems
Social skills (Molina et al., 2009)
Positive illusionary bias (PIB; McQuade et al., 2011)
Positive parenting practices (Deault, 2010)

Resiliency and ADHD:
Protective Factors

Knowing the protective factors can be
advantageous for:

Assessment process
 Consider

influential protective factors to
identify the most at risk

Intervention process
 Resilience-informed

interventions promote
successful coping and adaptation across
(Mastoras, 2013)

Model of
Global supportive
Broad and direct
influences on

Protective factors
Pathways that
influence the severity
and/or impact of core
deficits on associated
challenges or


Resiliency and ADHD:
Biological Characteristics

Research on the biological characteristics
important for preventing the manifestation
of ADHD has also been performed
Both genotype and strong response
inhibition abilities provided significant
protection in the presence of moderate to
high adversity in the family
Genotype and response inhibition were
(Nigg, Nikolas, Friderici, Park & Zucker,

Resiliency and ADHD:
Biological Characteristics

Stress affects prefrontal brain function more
than any other region
Chronic adversity during childhood may lead to
the prefrontal deficits often associated with
Genetic influence on functioning of prefrontal
cortex may be involved in overcoming
psychosocial adversity
Moderate to high levels of family adversity may
disrupt prefrontal cortical functions necessary
for adequate coping and regulation

Resiliency and ADHD:
Long-Term Outcomes

Study investigating positive characteristics
of college students diagnosed with ADHD
(Wilmshurst, Peele & Wilmshurst, 2011)

Positive family variables (emotional climate &
time spent in recreational activities)
Paternal support of academic and emotional
Different values and priorities based on past life
Different paths to succeed based on individual

Resiliency and ADHD:
Future Research

Continue to investigate the strength-based
Additional research into protective factors

Gender differences

Investigate the competencies of individuals
who succeed against the odds (e.g., college
Transition planning from high school


Each case is different

Focus on strengths rather than deficits

Different deficits (academic, social, emotional or
Different strengths
Different protective factors
Dynamic approach

Help to successfully “cope” rather than “cure”
Success is possible (not necessarily in all

1) What is your opinion on the recent shift
from a deficit-based to a strength-based
focus? Do you believe that this will be
advantageous for students with ADHD?
How will this look different in our schools?

2) In your experiences, have you ever
observed a student with ADHD in your
classroom that you would consider
resilient? What protective factors do you
think played a role in their successful

Chen, W. & Taylor, E. (2006). Resilience and self-control
impairment. In S.
Goldstein & R. Brooks (Eds.) Handbook of
Resilience in Children, (pp. 257-278). New York: Springer.
Clawson, L. D. Motivation and resilience in ADHD. Learning
Climie, E. A., Mastoras, S. M., McCrimmon, A. W., & Schwean, V.
L. (2013).
Resilience in Childhood Disorders. In S. PrinceEmbury & D.H.
Saklofske (Eds.), Resilience in
Children, Adolescents, and Adults (pp.
113-131). Springer:
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Coles, E. K., Pelham, W. E., & Gnagy, E. M. (2010). Parental
attributions for
success in managing the behavior of
children with ADHD. Journal of
Attention Disorders, 14, 138–

Deault, L.C. (2010). A systematic review of parenting in relation to
development of comorbidities and functional impairments in
with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
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Katusic, M. Z., Voigt, R. G., Colligan, R. C., Weaver, A. L., Homan, K.
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children with high intelligence quotient: Results from
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Mastoras, S. M. (2013). The Role of Social Support in Children
with AttentionDeficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Promoting
Resilience in an At-Risk
Population. Unpublished doctoral
dissertation, University of Calgary , Calgary, Canada.
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Association (CPA) Annual
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