Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is associated with emotional dysregulation (ED) and impaired health related quality of life (HRQoL). However, the role of ED in explaining the relationship between ADHD and HRQoL is unclear. The purpose of the present study was to do so in a sample of non-referred young adults with and without ADHD.
The study design was cross-sectional. A non-clinical sample of 63 young adults with ADHD (mean age = 24.86 years, SD = 3.25, 78% university students) and 69 gender-matched controls (mean age = 23.84 years, SD = 2.59, 89% university students) were recruited. The Adult ADHD Quality-of-Life scale was used to measure HRQoL; The Self-Report Wender-Reimherr Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Scale and the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale were used to measure ED. Group differences on all measures were tested using univariate and multivariate analyses of covariance, while controlling for age. Finally, a moderation analysis was used in order to examine the impact of ED on HRQoL beyond that accounted for by ADHD symptoms.
Both HRQoL and ED were significantly worse for the ADHD group compared to the control group. The medication status of the ADHD group participants had no significant effect on the level of ADHD symptoms, ED or HRQoL. ED moderated the effect of ADHD symptoms on HRQoL for the ADHD group.
The findings support the centrality of ED in ADHD and its crucial influence on HRQoL. Young adults with ADHD and high levels of ED are at risk for aversive impact on their well-being regardless of their ADHD symptoms level.

© 2021. The Author(s).