College students with ADHD and their reasons for becoming teachers despite negative childhood experiences

Inbar Levkovich*, Zohar Elyoseph

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to examine perspectives on childhood, coping methods and reasons for deciding to major in education among undergraduates with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While the experiences of children and adolescents with ADHD have been the focus of much research, empirical evidence is lacking regarding the experiences of education students with this disorder. This research seeks to correct this lacuna and in particular to shed light on what motivates students to return to a setting they experienced as so difficult and complex. We used qualitative-phenomenological research methods to examine 30 education students diagnosed with ADHD. Complex childhood experiences emerged during the course of the research. The study participants noted difficulties in remaining attentive, a high level of distractibility, a heightened need to move around and a lack of focus. These symptoms caused them difficulties at school, harmed their self-image and left them with feelings of frustration, failure and jealousy towards their classmates. The participants raised mainly altruistic considerations in explaining why they chose the teaching profession, alongside a negative view of the education system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education
StatePublished - 2020


  • ADHD
  • education students
  • teacher education


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