Are ADHD symptoms uniquely related to affect about mathematics in university students? Undergraduates (n = 425) completed three math performance measures (i.e., arithmetic, computational skills, and word problem solving) and self-report measures of ADHD symptoms, state anxiety, and confidence about math and literacy (i.e., affect and perceived self-efficacy). Students who reported more ADHD symptoms were less confident in both their mathematics and literacy skills. ADHD symptoms were indirectly linked to math performance through math confidence. People who reported more ADHD symptoms were anxious before starting the study, but this anxiety level remained constant. In contrast, people with lower math confidence had higher levels of state anxiety, and this level of anxiety increased during the study. In summary, ADHD symptoms were related to academic confidence in general; links with math performance were mediated through math confidence. There was no evidence for a specific link between attentional symptoms and mathematics.

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Learning and Individual Differences
Department of Psychology

Di Lonardo Burr, S.M. (Sabrina M.), & LeFevre, J.-A. (2020). Confidence is key: Unlocking the relations between ADHD symptoms and math performance. Learning and Individual Differences, 77. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2019.101808