Living in Chaos and Striving for Control : How adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder deal with their disorder

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This article reports a Grounded Theory of “Living in Chaos and Striving for Control” developed in response to the central research question of how adults diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) deal with their disorder. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 10 males diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood. “Chaos” emerged as the basic social–psychological problem facing these participants. The basic social–psychological process employed by them to deal with the problem was identified as “The Double Life”. This process became the core category around which the theory was developed. The theory demonstrates that adults with ADHD live in a state of chaos (Category 1), while striving for control (Category 2). When the state of control is achieved (Category 3) it is never permanent, and loss of control (Category 4) is inevitable. The lives of these adults are constantly cycling through chaos and control, and this results in their leading a “double life” (Category 5).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-261
JournalInternational Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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