Adult ADHD Screening Test

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Harvard, NYU & W.H.O. Adult ADHD Screening Test for Symptoms of ADHD

Many Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder don’t know they have it. Imagine the frustration of dealing with something that could cause you a lot of problems in life, ( there can be many problems with ADHD) but you don’t know what it is, so you don’t know how to deal with it.

ADHD is the number two genetically inherited condition in the world. It’s 80% genetic. If a child has it, the parents should be screened for it, if not for themselves, for their children.

Here are some real world examples of common problems many adults with ADHD have.

90% of Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are undiagnosed and untreated. Dr. Russell Barkley, Monitor on Psychology March 2012, page 70

This doesn’t fit with some prevailing ADHD stigma narratives in the media and on social media, but science often doesn’t:)

Here’s a simple Adult ADHD 5-minute screening test that you can complete in 5 minutes, from Harvard University, New York University and the W.H.O., World Health Organization (Used with permission). The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale v1.1 (ASRS v1.1) Screener.

It’s a screener test, not a full diagnostic test.

It’s not designed to diagnose if you have ADHD, for that you need a clinical diagnosis by someone properly trained on ADHD and sadly may are not properly trained on ADHD. Ask your closest ADHD support group for a list of people known to diagnose and treat ADHD.

The purpose of the Adult ADD screening test is simply to see if you have enough symptoms (and severity of symptoms) of Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder that you should seek a proper diagnosis for Adult ADHD.

Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) Symptom Checklist.

Adult ADHD Screening Test

Adult ADHD Screening Test


Evidence for the reliability and preliminary validity of the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale v1.1 (ASRS v1.1) Screener in an adolescent community sample.

“The ADHD Self-Report Scale v1.1 (ASRS; Kessler et al., 2005) Screener, a six-item measure of ADHD symptoms, is a valid and reliable screening instrument for ADHD among adults. The current study provides initial evidence for the reliability and validity of the ASRS Screener among a community sample of U.S. adolescents.


Middle and high school students in grades 6 through 12 (N = 2,472) completed the ASRS Screener, along with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ; Goodman, 2001) and several questions about school functioning.


The ASRS Screener demonstrated good internal consistency, with items captured by a single underlying latent variable, which was invariant across subsamples differing by gender. The ASRS Screener scores were associated with the SDQ subscale measuring hyperactivity/inattention (r = 0.58) and significantly less strongly associated with other SDQ subscale scores (r = -0.15-0.41). The ASRS Screener scores were also significantly associated with student-reported school functioning.


Findings suggest directions for future research and provide preliminary support for use of the ASRS Screener as a brief tool for identifying symptoms of ADHD among adolescents.”

Many misdiagnose ADHD as something else. I stopped counting at 20 people who I personally knew who spent a decade or more being treated with medication and therapy for depression or depression and anxiety who even suggested to their therapist that they might have ADHD and that possibility was quickly dismissed.

Later they found someone who understood ADHD, got diagnosed and sought help and now are no longer depressed.

28% Of Referrals To A Mood & Anxiety Clinic Had Undiagnosed ADHD

28% Of Referrals To A Mood & Anxiety Clinic Had Undiagnosed ADHD

Where Can I Get a Diagnosis of Adult ADHD?

Make sure the doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist you see for the diagnosis is knowledgeable and experienced enough to actually diagnose ADHD in Adults. Do NOT assume this is always so. Many have little to no training in ADHD.

Contact your local ADHD support group to find out who knows enough about ADHD to be able to diagnose you in your area. Check my list of Canadian ADHD support groups, try my list of US ADHD support groups or International ADHD support groups. If you live in the Vancouver Canada area, I have a list of doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists known to diagnose and treat ADHD in adults and kids. 

If you do have Adult ADHD.

You might consider Adult ADHD Coaching to learn how to be more effective in managing the practical day to day challenges of dealing with ADHD at work, home and in relationships. ADHD pills are useful, but pills don’t teach skills.

Here are the Top 10 Ways to Manage Adult ADHD.

Also check out this post on my second blog,  Your ADHD Superpowers And Your ADHD Kryptonite.

Show the flat earth ADHD stigmatizers who tell you ADHD doesn’t exist this page.

I’ve lost track of how many people I’ve personally known who have told their health care professional they “thought they might have ADD” and were quickly dismissed (often rudely so) and later saw an experienced professional and got diagnosed with ADD.

Most of the medical professionals that do know ADHD have usually gone out of their way on their own time and money to learn about ADHD to their credit.

This test is designed to do is to let you know if you have some of the symptoms of ADHD. If you do, then you could go to your family doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist to get a proper clinical diagnosis since there are other conditions that can be similar to ADHD.

If you suspect you have Attention Deficit Disorder, or you know someone that might have it, taking this test would be a good way to start finding out.

Background on the Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) Adult ADHD Symptom Checklist

“The questions are designed to stimulate dialogue between you and your patients and to help confirm if they may be suffering from the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)”. It’s free.


“The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) Symptom Checklist was developed in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Workgroup on Adult ADHD that included the following team of psychiatrists and researchers:

• Lenard Adler, MD Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology New York University Medical School

• Ronald C. Kessler, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Health Care Policy Harvard Medical School

• Thomas Spencer, MD Associate Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School”


“As a healthcare professional, you can use the ASRS v1.1 as a tool to help screen for ADHD in adult patients. Insights gained through this screening may suggest the need for a more in-depth clinician interview.

The questions in the ASRS v1.1 are consistent with DSM-IV criteria and address the manifestations of ADHD symptoms in adults. Content of the questionnaire also reflects the importance that DSM-IV places on symptoms, impairments, and history for a correct diagnosis.

The checklist takes about 5 minutes to complete and can provide information that is critical to supplement the diagnostic process. “

The Value of Screening for Adults With ADHD

“Research suggests that the symptoms of ADHD can persist into adulthood, having a significant impact on the relationships, careers, and even the personal safety of your patients who may suffer from it.

Because this disorder is often misunderstood, many people who have it do not receive appropriate treatment and, as a result, may never reach their full potential. Part of the problem is that it can be difficult to diagnose, particularly in adults.”

Unfortunately, there are many medical professionals that should know enough about ADHD to diagnose and treat it but don’t.

In some cases, they may deny that ADHD exists in adults or they may believe myths about ADHD i.e., if you did well in school you can’t have ADHD.

I’ve heard hundreds of stories of people that have gone to their doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist believing they might have ADHD, seeking help only to be ignored or dismissed because they were ignorant about what ADHD was and acted on ignorance assuming to be knowledge.

These people were later diagnosed with ADHD by people who were knowledgeable and had experience with it.

How many years of needless suffering did they endure as a result of someone else’s ignorance and denial of their ignorance? Why does this still continue to this day?

So when you do see someone for a diagnosis make sure it’s someone that know’s enough about ADD and possible associated comorbid conditions and has enough experience with ADHD to do so. There are other conditions that may look like ADHD but are not so a good diagnosis is critical.

If you do have Adult ADHD, check out what the ADHD experts say about coaching for adults with ADHD

Related ADHD Problems Posts

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