Publication Date

Summer 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Valerie Carr


ADHD, Adult, Aerobic, Attention Deficit Disorder, Exercise, Resistance

Subject Areas

Psychology; Neurosciences; Experimental psychology


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with executive function deficits as well as negative life outcomes in both childhood and adulthood. Current treatments to reduce symptoms of ADHD include stimulant medications that act as catecholamine agonists. These medications often cause undesirable side effects, to which end better understanding the effects of non- pharmacological treatments on symptoms of ADHD is critical. Research conducted in children suggests that exercise may be an effective tool for symptom reduction. However, the relationship between exercise and ADHD symptoms remains unclear for adults. The aim of this study was to address this gap in the literature by determining whether individual differences in ADHD symptoms across a broad population of young adults are related to individual differences in the amount and type of exercise in which they regularly engage. Using remote survey methods, we collected data on physical activity, physical activity type, and ADHD symptomatology. We found no significant differences in severity of ADHD symptoms as a function of exercise amount or type. Additional research using more objective, in-person measures is needed before drawing strong conclusions regarding these null findings.