Research Supports ADHD Coaching

As the field of ADHD coaching has grown, ADHD coaches, associated professionals and prospective ADHD coaching clients have been interested in research that supports ADHD coaching.

With the assistance of Micah Saviet, ACO Research Committee members, Liz Ahmann and Lisa Joy Tuttle, have prepared the following summary of a research review initially done in conjunction with Sarah Wright that concludes, “Coaching appears effective in supporting improvements in many realms of functioning for individuals with ADHD across the age span. ADHD coaching can be a stand-alone intervention or a component of comprehensive, multimodal treatment of ADHD.”

ACO members can download a PDF copy of this research summary at www.adhdcoaches.org/members/research/ after logging in to the website.

ADHD coaching has been defined as a collaborative, goal-oriented process that integrates life coaching, skills coaching, and education to assist individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in developing the self-awareness, strategies, and skills necessary to fulfill their potential while navigating the pragmatic realities of living with ADHD.1

A recent review of research on ADHD coaching indicates that ADHD coaching contributes positively to improved functioning in individuals with ADHD across the age span.2,3

Numerous, varied studies examined diverse outcomes of coaching for ADHD. Findings include:

Improvements in ADHD symptoms and executive functioning related behaviors:

•    Improved social behaviors in elementary school students
•    Improved grades in high school and college students
•    Improvement in learning and study skills in college students
•    Improved executive functioning skills and/or goal attainment in college students
(not studied in adults)
•    Improvements in distractibility, and inattentive, social, and behavioral factors in adults
•    Clinical, symptom and/or functional improvement in all age groups

Improvements in self-esteem, well-being and quality of life:

•    Improved self-esteem in teens and college students
•    Improved life satisfaction in elementary, high school and and college students
•    Improved well-being in elementary and college students (not studied in teens or adults)

Summary

While results for individuals may vary, the research suggests that, across differing age groups, study designs, and approaches to coaching, including both individual and group coaching models:

Coaching appears effective in supporting improvements in many realms of functioning for individuals with ADHD across the age span. ADHD coaching can be a stand-alone intervention or a component of comprehensive, multimodal treatment of ADHD.

Sources

1.    Wright, S. D. (2014). ADHD coaching matters: The definitive guide. College Station, TX: ACO Books.
2.    Tuttle, L. J., Ahmann, E., & Wright, S. D. (January, 2016). Emerging evidence for the efficacy of ADHD coaching. Poster presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of APSARD (The American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders), Washington, DC.
3.    Ahmann, E., Saviet, M. & Tuttle, L. J. (October, 2017). Emerging evidence for the effectiveness of coaching for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Poster awarded Honorable Mention at the 2017 Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare Conference, Institute of Coaching/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

© 2017 Created for ACO by Ahman, E., Saviet, M. & Tuttle, L.J.