Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Problematic Romantic Relationships in Adulthood: A Review of the Literature


  • Jan Wozniak Toronto Metropolitan University



Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prominent neurodevelopmental disorders worldwide. Although viewed as a childhood behavioural disorder, longitudinal research has shown that ADHD symptoms frequently persist into adolescence and adulthood. Although previously overshadowed in the research literature, more attention is now being given to the connection between ADHD and romantic relationships in adults. This inattention can be attributed to the prioritization of child and adolescent populations and the emphasis on psychoeducational, cognitive, and behavioural problems. However, with the emergence of executive function (EF) models, more researchers are exploring the breadth of possible ADHD-related problems. In the past five years especially, studies have been pursuing the relational and emotional challenges faced by those with ADHD and their partners. Given the prevalence and extent of ADHD-related challenges, it is vital to identify how relationship problems emerge and provide effective
psychosocial coping strategies for romantic partners to mitigate relationship dissatisfaction and turnover. This literature review evaluates research studies on ADHD and romantic relationships by exploring factors such as divorce rates, marital satisfaction, relationship length, negative emotions and habits, and distinctions between ADHD subtypes. This analysis identifies potential gaps in the literature and problems concerning replicability, generalizability, and sample representation in ADHD-related research studies. It then concludes by providing intervention suggestions for those involved in ADHD relationships.






Social Sciences & Humanities