Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Joseph C. Miller
There has been a significant increase in the number of college students feigning symptoms of ADHD. Students can receive a variety of accommodations when diagnosed with ADHD, along with the possibility of medication. These perceived benefits can make a diagnosis of ADHD desirable for college students. Research has found that college students can successfully feign ADHD with minimal detection, leading to improper diagnosis and potential misuse of accommodations and prescription medication. The research indicates a need for new approaches to the detection of ADHD malingering among college students.
The present study was exploratory in nature, seeking to identify drawing features on a modified, app-based version of the House-Tree-Person (House-Tree-Person-Modified: HTPM) that could differentiate college students feigning ADHD symptoms from honest responders. The app was created to increase the accuracy of quantifying various measures, such as line pressure, erasures, and black-to-white ratio. The Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM) and the Rey 15 Item Memorization Task (FIT) were utilized to assess for feigned performance, along with the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory, Fourth Edition (MCMI-IV) to assess for profile variations between individuals feigning ADHD symptoms and honest responders. Forty-four participants were included in study. Results of the t-tests found that participants feigning ADHD drew significantly less details than those honestly responding. No other drawing variables were significant. Both the FIT and the TOMM were statistically significant, with the TOMM providing excellent sensitivity and specificity between the honest responders and the participants feigning ADHD symptoms. All but two MCMI-IV variables were statistically different between the honest responders and the participants feigning ADHD. Cut off scores are suggested for TOMM and the MCMI-IV to maximize the potential use of these tools to aid in the assessment of feigned performance of ADHD symptoms among college students. Future research is needed to replicate the current findings for the TOMM and MCM-IV as well as assess other ways to detect feigned performance of ADHD by college students.
Mcconnell, Heather Lynn, "The Detection Of ADHD Malingering Among College Students: A New Look At Figure Drawings" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 2472.