Symptoms of ADHD and Close Friendships in Adolescence

Kerrie Glass, Kate Flory, Benjamin L. Hankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study examined the relationship of ADHD symptoms to different aspects of close friendship quality as rated by both adolescents (target adolescent and a close friend) within a friendship dyad. Method: Participants were 41 same-sex friendship dyads who completed questionnaires about their friendship. Separate symptom dimensions of ADHD (inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity) were examined. Teacher and parent ratings of social functioning were also used. Results: Symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity-impulsivity, and overall ADHD were positively related to target-reported friendship quality, and symptoms of inattention and total ADHD were positively associated with friend-reported friendship quality. Potential explanations for these surprising findings were explored. Conclusion: Results suggest that the close friendships of adolescents with symptoms of ADHD may be distinct from the peer rejection commonly faced by this population and that adolescents with symptoms of ADHD may have at least one close, positive friendship. Treatment implications and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-417
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • adolescence
  • close friendships
  • relationship quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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