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ADHD and “Locus of Control”

ADHD and “Locus of Control”

A guest post by Angela Wright, one of our homework coaches. Angela is completing her Master’s degree in School Counseling at Capella University.

Many times children diagnosed with ADHD will tell their parents “It’s not my fault I failed the test.  It was just too hard” or “I didn’t do well on that assignment because my teacher doesn’t like me”. Believe it or not, this seeming tendency to refuse to accept responsibility is actually a function of ADHD. Behavior-altering conditions such as ADHD often cause children to feel that they have no control over life circumstances and they therefore tend to blame everything and everyone but themselves for both their failures and their successes. This orientation towards blaming outside circumstances is called an external locus of control. A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that children diagnosed with ADHD had significantly higher external locus of control than non-ADHD diagnosed children. However, there are ways to help your ADHD diagnosed child to feel more in control of his or her abilities and to change their locus of control.

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