What is the relationship between memory and self-efficacy among adults with ADHD symptoms?
Apr 28 2022
Have you ever thought back on your favorite teacher who had a big influence on your life? Or, maybe, there was a teacher who made you feel useless and terrible. For students with attention deficit disorder (ADHD) symptoms, their connection with teachers and the memories they have about them later on in their life may predict their perceived social support and self-efficacy. People with ADHD symptoms have lower self-efficacy compared to people without ADHD symptoms. Therefore, we cannot ignore how powerful our words and actions can be in the classroom, as they may impact our students’ lives for a very long time. —Michael Ho
ADHD Severity and Self-Efficacy
Schmidt-Barad, Asheri, and Margalit (2021) investigated the relationship between severity levels of ADHD symptoms and self-efficacy. They also examined the mediating role of positive and negative memories of teachers and social support on this relationship. There were two main hypotheses for this study:
1) The severity levels of ADHD symptoms predict self-efficacy.
2) Memories of both ‘good teachers’ and ‘bad teachers’ and perceptions of social support will mediate the relationship between the severity of ADHD symptoms and self-efficacy outcomes.
Literature Review Takeaways
- Since many students with ADHD have impulsive and disruptive behavior, they may experience negative and unstable relationships with their teachers. They typically consider their teachers as controlling, and their relationships as negative and challenging.1
- Schmidt-Barad et al. (2021) quotes Brinkworth et al. (2018), “student-teacher interrelations may stay as long-term memories, and teachers’ words may continue ringing in the students’ mind, affecting their self-efficacy as a competence indicator even many years afterwards.”2
- Children and adolescents with ADHD who have experienced consistent difficulties during their studies often develop low self-efficacy, in addition to future low motivation, reduced success, and depleted effort investment.
- Among students with ADHD, Schmidt-Barad et al. (2021) quotes Babinski et al., (2020) in stating that “their parents experience higher levels of prolonged caregiver strain that predict depressive mood.”3 Since their parents are spending a lot of time dealing with their own mental health, they would have less energy and time to support their children and hence their children may experience perceptions of reduced support.
- 319 adult participants between the ages of 18 and 35 volunteered to participate in the research. Participants responded to online questionnaires posted on Israeli social media as well as online students’ bulletin boards and Dean of Students’ boards across Israeli colleges.
- Results indicated that individuals with “higher levels of [ADHD] symptoms reported lower levels of self-efficacy, lower support from family and friends, more memories of bad teachers, and fewer memories of good teachers.”
- It was found that the higher the severity of ADHD symptoms, the lower the self-efficacy. Not only did ADHD symptoms predict more negative memories of teachers but they also predicted less positive memories.
- Both family support and positive memories of the ‘good’ teacher predicted support from friends and eventually self-efficacy. Memories of interactions with teachers may influence one’s self-efficacy and perceived social support long after graduating from school.
Firstly, this is a correlational research study, so there are concerns about causality among the research variables. In addition, the students’ memories of teachers may not be accurate; their perceptions may also be subjective. Finally, there are significantly fewer male participants from one geographical location; therefore, a more balanced gender proportion of international samples may enable more generalization of the results.
Schmidt-Barad, T., Asheri, S., & Margalit, M. (2021). Memories and self-efficacy among adults with attention deficit disorder symptoms. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 1-15.
Summary by: Michael Ho—Michael supports the MARIO Framework because it empowers learners to take full control of their personalized learning journey, ensuring an impactful and meaningful experience.
Academic researcher Dr. Malka Margalit participated in the final version of this summary.
- Rogers, D. C., A. J. Dittner, K. A. Rimes, and T. Chalder. (2017). “Fatigue in an Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Population: A Trans-diagnostic Approach.” British Journal of Clinical Psychology 56 (1): 33–52. doi:10.1111/bjc.12119.
- Brinkworth, M. E., J. McIntyre, A. D. Juraschek, and H. Gehlbach. (2018). “Teacher-student Relationships: The Positives and Negatives of Assessing Both Perspectives.” Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 55: 24–38. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2017.09.002.
- Babinski, D. E., J. R. Mazzant, B. M. Merrill, D. A. Waschbusch, M. H. Sibley, E. M. Gnagy, B. S. G. Molina, and W. E. Pelham Jr. (2020). “Lifetime Caregiver Strain among Mothers of Adolescents and Young Adults with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity Disorder.” Journal of Family Psychology 34 (3): 342–352. doi:10.1037/fam0000609.