Blame It on My ADD: The Implications of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder for Marital and Cohabiting Relationships in Young Adulthood

Rhiannon A. Kroeger, University of Texas at Austin
Debra J. Umberson, University of Texas at Austin

Using Waves 1 and 4 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we build on prior research considering ADHD and interpersonal relationships by examining the instability of marital and cohabiting unions among young adults with and without ADHD. Specifically, we address two major research questions. First, does the number of marital/cohabiting partners ever involved with differ for young adults with and without ADHD? Second, among young adults reporting involvement in at least one marriage or cohabitation, are those with ADHD more likely to report relationship churning (i.e. separating and then reuniting with their partners) than their non-ADHD counterparts? Our results suggest that young adults who have been diagnosed with ADHD report involvement with significantly more marital/cohabiting partners than those without ADHD. In addition, individuals with ADHD have greater odds of experiencing relationship churning within their relationships than do their non-ADHD counterparts.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Health of Women, Children, and Families