Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Negative High School Experiences Predict Internalizing Symptomatology among Employed U.S. Adults with LD and ADHD

Journal of Adult Development Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Adolescence is a formative time in the development of self-concept, and negative self-concept predicts internalizing symptoms in later adulthood. This study examined the association between high school experiences and internalizing symptoms among emerging and early adults with learning disabilities (LD) and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In a sample of 1,163 employed U.S. adults (aged 18–40) with LD and/or ADHD, retrospective high school experiences were examined in relation to internalizing symptomatology in a hierarchical regression model that also included sociodemographic variables and those related to disability, employment, and postsecondary education. The present study found that high school experiences explained greater variance in internalizing symptomatology than any other factors, including employment and postsecondary experiences. Retrospective high school experiences (physical school victimization [ß = .14, p < .001], history of exclusionary discipline [ß = .18, p < .001], and low sense of school belonging [ß = –.11, p < .001]) were the only significant correlates of internalizing symptomatology in emerging and early adulthood besides being female (ß = –.13, p < .001) and the presence of comorbid ADHD and LD (ß = .15, p < .001). Present findings indicated that negative high school experiences and impressions are related to internalizing symptomatology into adulthood among individuals with LD and/or ADHD. With the goal of promoting positive life outcomes in adulthood, scholars and practitioners who serve this population may benefit from continued exploration of the association between high school experiences and later internalizing symptomatology. Implications for school prevention and therapeutic intervention are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

References

Download references

Funding

This study received funding from the Schwab Dyslexia and Cognitive Diversity Center.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mercedes A. Zapata.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The author has no known conflict of interest to disclose.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary Information

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary file1 (DOC 131 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Zapata, M.A. Negative High School Experiences Predict Internalizing Symptomatology among Employed U.S. Adults with LD and ADHD. J Adult Dev 29, 218–227 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10804-022-09401-y

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10804-022-09401-y

Keywords

Navigation