Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Bradley Olson

Second Advisor

Emese Vitalis

Third Advisor

Kathy Wierzchowski


Individuals who have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often experience symptoms that interfere with their daily functioning, concentration, and performance at school, at home, in the workplace, and in social settings. Previous research has been conducted into the effects of background music on various facets of learning, mostly with populations of children and individuals without ADHD. The focus in this clinical research project was to examine the relationship between background music and symptomatology in 18 adult students between the ages of 18 and 26 years who had been diagnosed with any type of ADHD. Results did not indicate significance toward the primary hypothesis that those who completed a learning task while listening to background music would report fewer symptoms of ADHD after the task compared to those who completed the task in silence. However, several patterns from ANCOVA analyses indicated significance toward the secondary hypothesis that gender differences would affect individuals’ perception and endorsement of ADHD symptomatology. Female participants consistently reported greater ADHD symptomatology than male participants. From the findings of this study, it is recommended that mental health clinicians use caution when diagnosing and treating ADHD across the age and gender spectrums.