Fielding alumna Barbara A. Mather, PhD, MA, MBA, presented her qualitative research study at the International Academy of Management and Business (IAMB), an international academic conference at the University of Quebec, Montreal, Canada. Dr. Mather’s research presentation was titled: Making Organizations Meaningful to Young Adults with ADHD, Qualitative Exploratory Research Design.

The qualitative research study results of 13 young adults with ADHD across the USA demonstrated four broad categories of workplace issues for which young adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may find challenging. Additionally, unintended findings were discovered after the initial research question was answered, and further analyses were conducted.

These additional findings reflected the importance of self-awareness in young adults with ADHD, in that those with high self- awareness were better prepared and able to mitigate personal challenging issues in the workplace. Those individuals with the highest ratings of self-awareness are the beneficiaries of behavioral therapy or personal counseling participation as either young children or continuation of some form into adulthood. Of significance is that, against the hundreds of thousands of ADHD research studies conducted to-date, this self-awareness concept has not previously been researched, studied or reported.

The primary driver of this project and its intended impact was to inform attendees of this academic and business academy on the broad diversity issue of ADHD in young adults across USA workplaces of today. This study also is applicable to global audiences. Many young adults diagnosed with ADHD as children are bright, capable, and are able to contribute fully in meaningful ways within the workplace today. Additionally, unless one has a close family member diagnosed with ADHD, or has ADHD him/herself, there is a tremendous void or lack of understanding of what ADHD “looks like” in the workplace. From informal discussions and questions to managers in the workplace today, the misunderstandings and stereotypical beliefs about young adults with ADHD are unfortunate and reflect the need for relevant, factual, timely training and education to a broad spectrum of society. This presentation reflects important focus on the workplace to ensure the organizations are providing meaningful work experiences to, not only young adults with ADHD, but to all adults with ADHD.

*Article from University of Pheonix reprinted with permission by Dr. Mather.

Dr. Mather is a recipient of the University of Phoenix OSS Honorarium, Faculty Scholarship Award for this presentation and has recently been informed that this research study has been accepted for publication.

Barbara Mather, Ph.D.
Barbara Mather, PhD (HOD 2013)

Barbara Mather, PhD (HOD 2013)

In addition to the role of Associate Faculty for University of Phoenix, Dr. Mather is an experienced management consultant in the area of organizational change management and has been a practitioner in her consulting firm since 2002. She works primarily with large companies, and across multiple industries, helping to develop organizational design/change management, communication, and compensation strategies and plans. A partial list of clients include: Disney, Toyota, Tribune Media, Tribune Publishing (includes Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, etc.), Eastman Kodak, among others. She is a Certified Management Consultant® from the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC). In additional to her consulting practice, Dr. Mather serves as an associate faculty member for the University of Phoenix in the School of Advanced Studies, instructing doctoral research programs.