Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation




College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Kate Flory


The purpose of this project was to examine the impact of ADHD within the context of adult romantic relationships more thoroughly than has previously been examined. Whereas symptoms of ADHD do seem to contribute to the quality of a relationship (Canu, 2014; Orlov, 2010; Pera, 2008), no prior research has examined the interaction between individual characteristics and partner ADHD symptoms in predicting relationship quality. The present study addressed this gap in the literature by examining the characteristics of both partners, specifically, how certain characteristics of one partner interact with the other partner’s ADHD symptoms in predicting relationship quality. Participants were 159 individuals, recruited by a variety of methods, 18 to 56 years of age, in a monogamous romantic relationship (heterosexual or homosexual) for at least one year, married or unmarried. Using an online survey, participants completed a validated measure of ADHD symptoms about their partner in addition to a number of self-report questionnaires pertaining to relationship quality, attachment style, emotion recognition ability, and personality characteristics. Study results provide substantial evidence that individual characteristics of participants are significantly associated with many domains of relationship quality and in some cases, moderate the relation between partner ADHD symptoms and relationship quality. This study provided an important opportunity to advance the understanding of ADHD within the context of adult romantic relationships. Implications for research and practice are discussed, including suggestions for treatment.


© 2018, Katherine Knies