Adult women and ADHD: on the temporal dimensions of ADHD identities

Stenner, Paul; O'Dell, Lindsay and Davies, Alison (2019). Adult women and ADHD: on the temporal dimensions of ADHD identities. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 49(2) pp. 179–197.



This paper uses conceptual resources drawn psychosocial process thinking (Stenner, 2017, Brown and Reavey, 2015, Brown and Stenner, 2009) and from G.H. Mead in particular, to contribute to an emerging body of work on the experiences of adult women with ADHD (Singh, 2002, Waite and Ivey, 2009, Quinn and Madhoo, 2014, Horton-Salway and Davies, 2018). It has a particular focus on how ADHD features in the construction of women’s identities and life-stories and it draws upon findings from a qualitative investigation of adult women diagnosed or self-diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A theoretically informed ‘thematic decomposition’ of 16 depth interviews reveals how complex processes of identity transformation are mediated by the social category of ADHD. Through this process, pasts are reconstructed from the perspective of an ‘emergent’ identity that offers participants the potential for a more enabling and positive future.

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