ADHD at the workplace: ADHD symptoms, diagnostic status, and work-related functioning

Anselm B. M. Fuermaier*, Lara Tucha, Marah Butzbach, Matthias Weisbrod, Steffen Aschenbrenner, Oliver Tucha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
413 Downloads (Pure)


Adults diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) commonly experience impairments in multiple domains of daily living. Work has a central role in daily life and is susceptible to ADHD due to its cognitive demands. The present study seeks to examine the nature of work-related problems and impairments of adults with ADHD, and explores the association to ADHD symptoms and neuropsychological test performance. A community sample of 1231 individuals took part in this study and completed a set of questionnaires assessing ADHD symptoms and work-related problems. Furthermore, a clinical sample of 134 adults diagnosed with ADHD were recruited from an ADHD outpatient clinic, who completed the same set of questionnaires. A subsample of 51 patients with ADHD additionally performed a neuropsychological assessment using tests of attention and executive functions. Work-related problems were found both in individuals of the community sample with symptoms of ADHD and individuals diagnosed with ADHD. Individuals with ADHD reported work related problems particularly in not meeting their own standards and perceived potential, yet it less commonly manifests in negative performance evaluations at work or job loss. ADHD symptoms, in particular symptoms of inattention, were found to be strongly associated with work-related problems, whereas neuropsychological test performance was no meaningful predictor of functioning at work. This study emphasizes the susceptibility of individuals' functioning at work to ADHD symptoms and impairments associated with ADHD. ADHD related difficulties at work should be considered in the clinical evaluation and targeted screening at the work place to provide support when indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021–1031
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Early online date2-Feb-2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2021


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