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Personality styles of adolescents previously diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

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This thesis tests the hypothesis proposed by Liemkuhler (1994) relating to the development of a cluster of personality styles among ADHD adolescents. Liemkuhler suggests that it is a neurobiological dysfunction, through its interaction with psychodynamic and cognitive processes that predisposes the ADHD adolescent to the development of certain personality styles. An absence of appropriate intervention and support increases the risk of these personality styles developing into clinical syndromes. To determine whether differences in personality styles do exist between ADHD adolescents and adolescents without ADHD, the NED Five Factor Inventory (NEDFFI) was group administered to a sample of 25 adolescents who were previously diagnosed as having ADHD (referred to as the ' research group') and 25 controls (referred to as the ' control group') who were matched for age and educational level. Five testable hypotheses were formulated for each of the five personality scales. A comparison of each of the five scales between the research group and the control group yielded no significant result to support Liemkuhler's hypothesis. However, a comparison of the five scales within each group (either the research group or the control group) produced several significant differences. Significant correlations were also found between scales for each group. On the basis of these results it is suggested that specific differences in the facets (traits) that are measured by each of the five personality scales may exist for each group, as opposed to overall group differences in personality styles. It is further proposed that the facets that are tapped may be explained on the basis of assumed differences in the neurobiological and cognitive functioning of both groups. It is tentatively concluded that the results may provide partial support for Liemkuhler's hypothesis. However, it is acknowledged that the complexity of Liemkulher's argument warrants further and more detailed research.


Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2003.


Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder., Attention deficit disorder in adolescence., Theses--Psychology.