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10 dissertations that used KCLC as a field site were completed in the 2012 academic year.  This body of literature actualizes KCLC’s mission to serve as “a field site for graduate students, attracting the best and brightest disability scholars in the nation” and “a new model for a world-class center for services, programs, research and support in higher education.” 6 additional dissertations are in progress and should be completed within the next year.

Dissertation References

Anderson, V. L. (2012). A study of the pedagogical strategies used in support of students with learning disabilities and attitudes held by engineering faculty. (Doctoral dissertation).

Flowers, L. (2012). Navigating and accessing higher education: The experiences of community college students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. (Doctoral dissertation).

Francis, C. D. P. (2012). Students with disabilities experience in higher education online courses: An exploratory study of self-efficacy, use of assistive technologies and mobile media. (Doctoral dissertation).

Haig, J. D. (2012). The role of self-regulation strategies on two- and four-year college students with ADHD. (Doctoral dissertation).

Ihori, D. K. (2012). Postsecondary faculty attitudes, beliefs, practices, and knowledge regarding students with ADHD: A comparative analysis of two-year and four-year institutions. (Doctoral dissertation).

Melara, C. A. (2012). Factors influencing the academic persistence of college students with ADHD. (Doctoral dissertation).

Nicholson, N. L. (2012). The executive and academic functioning of stimulant-medicated and non-stimulant medicated adult college students with ADHD: A neuropsychological perspective. (Doctoral dissertations).

Schott, E. M. P. (2012). ADHD identity: A conceptual developmental model. (Doctoral dissertation).

Tse, M. (2012). Social skills and self-esteem of college students with ADHD. (Doctoral dissertation).

Young, E. W. D. (2012). Understanding the psycho-social and cultural factors that influence the experience of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Chinese American college students: A systems approach. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest. (3513866)Francis, C. D. P. (2012). Students with disabilities experience in higher education online courses: An exploratory study of self-efficacy, use of assistive technologies and mobile media.

Dissertation Abstracts

Anderson, V. L. (2012). A study of the pedagogical strategies used in support of students with learning disabilities and attitudes held by engineering faculty. (Doctoral dissertation).

Abstract. This study used an anonymous online survey instrument to explore the educational preparation as well as the pedagogical and assessment methods used in support of students with learning disabilities (LD) by engineering faculty members from undergraduate engineering programs of four southern California educational institutions. This work also sought to determine whether engineering faculty members utilized pedagogy that encouraged student development of metacognitive skills. Further, engineering faculty attitudes toward students with LD and faculty willingness to provide accommodations for students with LD were examined through the survey instrument. Although participant responses (n=30) offered evidence of positive attitudes and willingness to support students with LD, results indicated that more faculty development regarding the needs of students with LD and of alternative pedagogical and assessment methods was warranted for college-level engineering faculty.

 

Flowers, L. (2012). Navigating and accessing higher education: The experiences of community college students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. (Doctoral dissertation).

Abstract. Background: Studies conducted in the areas of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and students support services at the postsecondary level are very limited. Therefore, there is a need to conduct a study that examines the effects of supports services on students with ADHD. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of students with ADHD and their ability to access higher education. Method: Purposeful sampling of 10 students with ADHD enrolled at community college was selected to interview individually. Results: Research findings illuminate the complex ways that students with ADHD access higher education. Conclusion: Community colleges should increase outreach for students with ADHD and there should be continued training to instructors on how to meet the needs of students with disabilities.

 

Francis, C. D. P. (2012). Students with disabilities experience in higher education online courses: An exploratory study of self-efficacy, use of assistive technologies and mobile media. (Doctoral dissertation).

Abstract. The overarching aim of this mixed methods study was to explore the online experiences of students with disabilities, with particular focus on students’ use of assistive technologies, mobile media and self-efficacy. Using a multifaceted an integrative approach, this study considered a framework of universal design, Scherer’s Matching Person and Technology model and theories such as social cognitive theory to help strengthen the study by using theory triangulation (Denzin, 1978; Patton, 2002).

The study site was a large Community College in Southern California. Students who met the criteria for the study, voluntarily chose to participate in either the quantitative survey portion of the study (n=42) or the qualitative semi-structured interview (n=9) or both (n=9). The findings suggest that students’ awareness of accommodations, their use of assistive technologies, use of mobile media, instructor feedback, instructor engagement with students and organization of the instructor were key factors in their learning and experience in an online academic environment. The results from the quantitative analysis indicated that students’ perceptions of support offered in face to face versus online courses made no statistical difference; participants reported having high self-efficacy in their own beliefs and expectations to successfully complete the course; and they were most often able to meet their own grade and learning expectations in the online course.

The implications of this study indicate the need for instructor engagement and feedback, the need for professional development to online instructors, and educational institutions, and perhaps an online tutorial and discussion forum for students to engage with instructors in online courses. The study also supports the notion that when curriculum is not designed through the lens of Universal design, where access to accommodations and resources are embedded in the course itself, it can lead to students with disabilities feeling unsupported by their educational institutions and overwhelmed in their academic course work, decreasing motivation and performance.

 

Haig, J. D. (2012). The role of self-regulation strategies on two- and four-year college students with ADHD. (Doctoral dissertation).

Abstract. This study examined the relationship between self-regulation strategies and their relationships with college students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This area has not been widely examined so this research was conducted in order to investigate the role of self-regulation strategies on college students with ADHD. The research design used was a case study approach and mixed methodologies.

A sample of 48 students were sampled at three different colleges in Southern California, one being at a four-year large urban college in Los Angeles, another being at a medium four-year public college in Orange County, CA, and the last being at a medium size two-year college in Orange County, CA. At each college, there were 16 students sampled, eight diagnosed with ADHD and eight not diagnosed with ADHD. Information was gathered using the Self-Regulations Questionnaire (SRQ) survey. Additionally, an interview was conducted.

A descriptive study utilizing survey and semi-structured interview was used. The reason for interviews being done was because of the small sample size. The analysis was on meanings, themes, and general descriptions of experiences. The narrative approach was used to get the “essence” of each college student’s experience having been diagnosed with ADHD and how they self-regulated as students.

The results provided support for the importance of self-regulation strategies for college students with ADHD. Quantitative results support the position that self-regulation strategies play a role in helping college students with ADHD. Qualitative results also support this finding. The results of these and related findings are discussed in this study.

 

Ihori, D. K. (2012). Postsecondary faculty attitudes, beliefs, practices, and knowledge regarding students with ADHD: A comparative analysis of two-year and four-year institutions. (Doctoral dissertation).

Abstract. Understanding the attitudes, beliefs, and practices of postsecondary faculty regarding students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the laws that protect such students is critical for both student success and compliance with federal laws. The purpose of the present quantitative study was to identify differences between two-year community college and four-year university faculty in regard to their attitudes and beliefs about students with ADHD, their willingness to accommodate such students, and their knowledge of the legal protections for students with disabilities. In order to gain this information, electronic surveys were distributed to faculty members at two two-year community colleges, two four-year public universities, and two four-year private universities. The data was analyzed to determine whether significant differences in faculty responses exist between two-year colleges and four-year universities. Further analysis was conducted in order to determine whether differences exist between faculty responses at private four-year universities and public four-year universities. The results of the analyses indicate that no significant differences exist between types of universities in regard to faculty attitudes and beliefs about students with ADHD, their willingness to accommodate such students, and their knowledge of the legal protections for students with disabilities. However, additional analyses of the survey results beyond the scope of the research questions indicate that further professional development may be needed across postsecondary institutions regarding Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, appropriate accommodations for students with ADHD, and referral processes for students with ADHD to obtain educational accommodations.

 

Melara, C. A. (2012). Factors influencing the academic persistence of college students with ADHD. (Doctoral dissertation).

Abstract. Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are at greater risk for failing to complete their postsecondary educational degrees than their typical peers. The present qualitative sought to identify factors influencing the academic persistence of students with ADHD in postsecondary settings. Utilizing direct interviews with postsecondary students at two four-year universities, the present study found that family and peer support, medication, counseling, a sense of connection with faculty/staff, university-based resources, and overall satisfaction with academic and social experiences are contributing factors to the academic persistence of college students with ADHD. These findings can be used to guide postsecondary institutions in supporting students with ADHD. Furthermore, the information gained from this study can be used to assist students with ADHD in identifying and developing beneficial supports that will contribute to their success in the postsecondary education setting.

 

Nicholson, N. L. (2012). The executive and academic functioning of stimulant-medicated and non-stimulant medicated adult college students with ADHD: A neuropsychological perspective. (Doctoral dissertations).

Abstract. The purpose of this study was to determine whether stimulant-medicated adult college students with ADHD outperformed non-stimulant medicated students on neuropsychological and academic measures. A convenience sample of 33 college students with ADHD volunteered to take two neuropsychological assessments designed to measure executive functioning: The Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.) and the Kaufman Short Neuropsychological Assessment Procedure (K-SNAP). Participants’ academic functioning was assessed by completion of an ADHD Indicator Survey/Questionnaire, requiring disclosure of cumulative Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) Statistical analysis of scores on the measures indicated that there is not a significant difference between the executive and academic functioning of stimulant-medicated and non-stimulant medicated ADHD college students as indicated by T.O.V.A. and K-SNAP scores. There also was not a significant difference between the cumulative G.P.A. of stimulant-medicated and non-stimulant medicated students. However, there was a weak positive relationship between T.O.V.A. scores and self-reported cumulative G.P.A.

 

Schott, E. M. P. (2012). ADHD identity: A conceptual developmental model. (Doctoral dissertation).

Abstract. There is an extremely limited amount of research that looks at the identity development for adults with disabilities, particularly those who identify with a hidden diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). More and more students with disabilities, such as ADHD, are entering college in the United States. It is increasingly important to understand the processes by which adults with ADHD develop psychosocially and develop a healthy identity around their diagnosis. Faculty and administrators in education can better understand how to assist this exceptional population in order to assist them in their development of a positive identity.

This study was focused on investigating the process of forging an ADHD identity. Other factors considered in the study were gender, race/ethnicity/culture, and sexual identity.

The participants in this study were adults with ADHD recruited from a four-year private institution of higher education in the Western United States. Each participant completed an extensive interview with the researcher. Themes from the interviews were analyzed through a framework that included the theories of Erikson (1959, 1982), Chickering and Reisser (1993), and Gibson (2005).

Results were discussed and the limitations to the study were considered. More research in the area of ADHD identity development was indicated from the results of this study. Suggestions for further research that focuses on this psychosocial dynamic process of identity development in adulthood was reviewed.

 

Tse, M. (2012). Social skills and self-esteem of college students with ADHD. (Doctoral dissertation).

Abstract. Research indicates that up to 65% of children diagnosed with ADHD may continue to display general behavior problems, as well as specific symptoms of ADHD, later in life. In most of the studies, ADHD college students’ self-esteem is strongly aligned with their social skills. The purpose of this study was to find directions that will assist ADHD students to succeed at college by identifying which factors affect their social skills and self-esteem, and, consequently, affect their academic achievement, their lives, and their careers.

This study used a mixed method approach in which qualitative and quantitative research were combined. There were 88 participants, 44 ADHD students and 44 non-ADHD students from two two-year community colleges and a four-year private university. For quantitative research, the 44 ADHD students and the 44 non ADHD students, from these three institutions, completed three surveys; the Profile Information Form, the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale Survey Schedule and the Rosenberg Self-

Esteem Scale questionnaires. The T-Test and MANOVA were utilized to measure the significance of the ADHD students’ social skills and self-esteem compared to non-ADHD students. In qualitative study, eight themes to emerge from the interview data are as follows: 1) Diagnosis/Childhood Experiences, 2) ADHD Symptoms, 3) Self Esteem, 4) Family Support, 5) College accommodations, 6) Social Skills, 7) Medication, and 8) Goals and Professions.

The result of the T-Test and the MANOVA test also illustrate that college students with ADHD have a lower level of self-esteem and poorer social skills when compared to the group of students without ADHD. These eight themes illustrate that ADHD symptoms affect participants’ self-esteem and social skills and that between their social skills and self-esteem affect their social interactions and their academic achievement in college.

 

Young, E. W. D. (2012). Understanding the psycho-social and cultural factors that influence the experience of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Chinese American college students: A systems approach. (Doctoral dissertation).

Abstract. A review of the extant research literature reveals limited data on college students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Even less information is known in regards to minority populations living with ADHD, specifically Asian American college student. This research project was focused on Chinese American college students with ADHD. A qualitative design using a life history approach allowed the individual case studies to provide a vivid detailed account into the experiences with ADHD. The project was centered on a systems theory approach to understanding the psycho-social and cultural factors that influence the experience of ADHD in Chinese American college students as well as the coping strategies used in order to be effective learners. This project allows the reader to understand how Chinese American college students make sense of their ADHD diagnosis, cope with their condition and what this may mean for these students as they embark on their ADHD journey.

This project aimed to seek answers to these questions: 1) What are the different pathways to being a Chinese American college student with ADHD? 2) How do psycho-social, cultural and other factors shape the experiences that Chinese American college students have with ADHD? 3) How do Chinese American college students with ADHD navigate their academic environment in order to be successful learners?

The project found that social supports in the form of family and friends help the Chinese American college student to cope with their ADHD diagnosis, symptoms and academic struggles. The use of professional services inclusive of psychotherapy, psychopharmacology and psychological testing helped students to cope and make sense of their condition. The Chinese American college students found their academic performance improved with the use of the disability services offered by the university.