Updated: October 6, 2023

At Future ADHD, our work in supporting ADHDers is holistic, strengths-based and curiosity-driven. We've developed unique, science-based frameworks and templates that cut through the traditional productivity hype and help us organize our lives and schedules in a way that makes sense to our brains.

ADHD is a complex and intersectional neurological condition, and an area with a lot of emerging research, particularly in relation to adults. As lead educator and developer across all our ADHD resources, I draw on a broad range of sources, including peer-reviewed scientific studies, books by top ADHD experts, podcast interviews, and my own lived experience (as well as the experiences of my neurodivergent team and community). The Future ADHD planner is evidence-backed, and is now recommended by psychologists, behavioral scientists, therapists and other industry experts (see proof here).

Below I'm sharing a comprehensive list research studies and literature underpinning our ADHD tools and resources, grouped by topic.

*For more, listen to my podcast, Future ADHD, where I discuss current research studies in more depth.

ADHD neurology & brain science

  1. Volkow, N. D., Wang, G. J., Kollins, S. H., Wigal, T. L., Newcorn, J. H., Telang, F., Fowler, J. S., Zhu, W., Logan, J., Ma, Y., Pradhan, K., Wong, C., & Swanson, J. M. (2009). Evaluating dopamine reward pathway in ADHD: clinical implications. JAMA302(10), 1084–1091. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2009.1308
  2. Barkley, R. A. (2021). Taking charge of adult ADHD: proven strategies to succeed at work, at home, and in relationships. Guilford Publications.
  3. Bromberg-Martin, E. S., Matsumoto, M., & Hikosaka, O. (2010). Dopamine in motivational control: rewarding, aversive, and alerting. Neuron68(5), 815–834. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2010.11.022
  4. Hallowell, E. M., & Ratey, J. J. (2021). ADHD 2.0: New Science and Essential Strategies for Thriving with Distraction—From Childhood through Adulthood (1st ed.). New York: Ballantine Books.
  5. Rosier, T. (2021). Your brain's not broken: strategies for navigating your emotions and life with ADHD. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
  6. Blum, K., Chen, A. L., Braverman, E. R., Comings, D. E., Chen, T. J., Arcuri, V., Blum, S. H., Downs, B. W., Waite, R. L., Notaro, A., Lubar, J., Williams, L., Prihoda, T. J., Palomo, T., & Oscar-Berman, M. (2008). Attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder and reward deficiency syndrome. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment4(5), 893–918. https://doi.org/10.2147/ndt.s2627
  7. Chevrier, A., & Schachar, R. J. (2020). BOLD differences normally attributed to inhibitory control predict symptoms, not task-directed inhibitory control in ADHD. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 12(1), 8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7035717/
  8.  Armstrong, T. (2011). The power of neurodiversity : unleashing the advantages of your differently wired brain (First Da Capo Press paperback). Da Capo Lifelong.
  9. Mlodinow, L. (2018). Elastic : flexible thinking in a time of change (First). Pantheon Books.

ADHD and women, late-diagnosis

  1. Stenner, P., O'Dell, L., & Davies, A. (2019). Adult women and ADHD: On the temporal dimensions of ADHD identities. Journal of Theory and Social Behavior, 49, 179–197. https://doi.org/10.1111/jtsb.12198
  2. Attoe, D. E., & Climie, E. A. (2023). Miss. Diagnosis: A Systematic Review of ADHD in Adult Women. Journal of Attention Disorders, 27(7), 645–657. https://doi.org/10.1177/10870547231161533
  3. Lynn N. M. (2019). Women & ADHD functional impairments: beyond the obvious [Master’s thesis, Grand Valley State University]. Graduate Research and Creative Practice at ScholarWorks.  https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/theses/933/
  4. Nyström, A., Petersson, K., & Janlöv, A. C. (2020). Being Different but Striving to Seem Normal: The Lived Experiences of People Aged 50+ with ADHD. Issues in mental health nursing41(6), 476–485. https://doi.org/10.1080/01612840.2019.1695029
  5. Hinshaw, S. P. (2021). Looking Back on 42 Years of Research on ADHD in Females. Duke Centre for Girls and Women with ADHD. URL: https://adhdgirlsandwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Hinshaw_2021_Review.pdf 
  6. Waite, R. (2010), Women With ADHD: It Is an Explanation, Not the Excuse Du Jour. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 46: 182-196. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6163.2010.00254.x

Mental health, self-esteem & comorbidity

  1. Jensen, P. S., Martin, D., & Cantwell, D. P. (1997). Comorbidity in ADHD: implications for research, practice, and DSM-V. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry36(8), 1065–1079. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9256586/
  2. Chan, E. S. M., Groves, N. B., Marsh, C. L., Miller, C. E., Richmond, K. P., & Kofler, M. J. (2022). Are There Resilient Children with ADHD?. Journal of attention disorders26(5), 643–655. https://doi.org/10.1177/10870547211025629
  3. Wilson, S. (2018). First we make the beast beautiful : a new journey through anxiety (First U.S.). Dey St.
  4. Kooij, J. J. S., Huss, M., Asherson, P., Akehurst, R., Beusterien, K., French, A., Sasané, R., & Hodgkins, P. (2012). Distinguishing Comorbidity and Successful Management of Adult ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 16(5_suppl), 3S-19S. Retrieved from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1087054711435361
  5. Harpin, V., Mazzone, L., Raynaud, J. P., Kahle, J., & Hodgkins, P. (2016). Long-Term Outcomes of ADHD: A Systematic Review of Self-Esteem and Social Function. Journal of Attention Disorders, 20(4), 295–305. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054713486516
  6. Henriksen, I. O., Ranøyen, I., Indredavik, M. S., et al. (2017). The role of self-esteem in the development of psychiatric problems: A three-year prospective study in a clinical sample of adolescents. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 11(68). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13034-017-0207-y
  7. Dodson, W. MD. (2016). Emotional regulation and rejection sensitivity. "ADHD children hear 20 more negative messages than peers by age of 12" CHADD. https://chadd.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/ATTN_10_16_EmotionalRegulation.pdf

Attention, focus & memory

  1. Bertilsdotter Rosqvist, H., Hultman, L., Österborg Wiklund, S., Nygren, A., Storm, P., Sandberg, G. (2023). Intensity and Variable Attention: Counter Narrating ADHD, from ADHD Deficits to ADHD Difference. The British Journal of Social Work. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcad138
  2. Ashinoff, B. K., & Abu-Akel, A. (2021). Hyperfocus: the forgotten frontier of attention. Psychological research, 85(1), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-019-01245-8
  3. Jirakittayakorn N, Wongsawat Y.  (2017) Brain responses to 40-Hz binaural beat and effects on emotion and memory. Int J Psychophysiol. PMID: 28739482. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28739482/
  4. Beauchene C, Abaid N, Moran R, Diana RA, Leonessa A. (2016) The Effect of Binaural Beats on Visuospatial Working Memory and Cortical Connectivity. PLoS One. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5125618/
  5. Garcia-Argibay, M., Santed, M.A. & Reales, J.M. Binaural auditory beats affect long-term memory. Psychological Research 83, 1124–1136 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-017-0959-2
  6. Weissenberger, S., Schonova, K., Büttiker, P., Fazio, R., Vnukova, M., Stefano, G. B., & Ptacek, R. (2021). Time Perception is a Focal Symptom of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults. Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research27, e933766. https://doi.org/10.12659/MSM.933766
  7. Mette C. (2023). Time Perception in Adult ADHD: Findings from a Decade-A Review. International journal of environmental research and public health20(4), 3098. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20043098
  8. Ptáček, R., Vňuková, M., Děchtěrenko, et. al. (2022). Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Time Perception in Adults: Do Adults with Different ADHD Symptomatology Severity Perceive Time Differently? Findings from the National Czech Study. Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research, https://doi.org/10.12659/MSM.936849
  9. Barkley, R. A. (1997). Behavioral inhibition, sustained attention, and executive functions: Constructing a unifying theory of ADHD. Psychological Bulletin, 121, 65–94.
  10. Gold, J., & Ciorciari, J. (2020). A Review on the Role of the Neuroscience of Flow States in the Modern World. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland)10(9), 137. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090137
  11. Ishii, S., Takagi, S., Kobayashi, N., Jitoku, D., Sugihara, G., & Takahashi, H. (2023). Hyperfocus symptom and internet addiction in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder trait. Frontiers in psychiatry14,. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1127777 

ADHD motivation & goal-setting

  1. Di Domenico, S. I., & Ryan, R. M. (2017). The Emerging Neuroscience of Intrinsic Motivation: A New Frontier in Self-Determination Research. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience11, 145. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5364176/
  2. Volkow, N. D., Wang, G. J., Kollins, S. H., Wigal, T. L., Newcorn, J. H., Telang, F., ... & Swanson, J. M. (2009). Evaluating dopamine reward pathway in ADHD: clinical implications. Jama, 302(10), 1084-1091.  https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2010.97 
  3. Sagvolden, T., Johansen, E. B., Aase, H., & Russell, V. A. (2005). A dynamic developmental theory of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) predominantly hyperactive/impulsive and combined subtypes. The Behavioral and brain sciences28(3), 397–468. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X05000075
  4. Morsink, S., Van der Oord, S., Antrop, I., Danckaerts, M., & Scheres, A. (2022). Studying Motivation in ADHD: The Role of Internal Motives and the Relevance of Self Determination Theory. Journal of attention disorders26(8), 1139–1158. https://doi.org/10.1177/10870547211050948
  5. Champ, R. E., Adamou, M., & Tolchard, B. (2023). Seeking connection, autonomy, and emotional feedback: A self-determination theory of self-regulation in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychological review130 (3), 569–603. https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000398
  6. Capps, R. E., Shea, M. L., & Evans, S. W. (2023). Retrospective Report of Academic Motivation Among College Students With Elevated ADHD Symptoms. Journal of Attention Disorders, 27(11), 1284–1295. https://doi.org/10.1177/10870547231172799
  7. Swart D. T. (2020). The source: open your mind change your life. Vermilion.

ADHD strengths, divergent thinking & creativity

  1. White, H. A., & Shah, P. (2006). Uninhibited imaginations: Creativity in adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Personality and Individual Differences, 40, 1121–1131. Full text: https://totallyadd.com/wp-content/uploads/White_Shah_ADHDCreativity_PAID.pdf
  2.  Sedgwick, J.A., Merwood, A. & Asherson, P. The positive aspects of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a qualitative investigation of successful adults with ADHD. ADHD Atten Def Hyp Disord 11, 241–253 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12402-018-0277-6
  3. Schippers, L. M., Horstman, L. I., van de Velde, H., Pereira, R. R., Zinkstok, J., Mostert, J. C., Greven, C. U., & Hoogman, M. (2022). A qualitative and quantitative study of self-reported positive characteristics of individuals with ADHD. Frontiers in psychiatry13, 922788. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.922788
  4. Tucha, L., Tucha, O., Sontag, T. A., Stasik, D., Laufkötter, R., & Lange, K. W. (2011). Differential effects of methylphenidate on problem solving in adults with ADHD. Journal of attention disorders15(2), 161–173. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054709356391
  5. Boot, N., Nevicka, B., & Baas, M. (2020). Creativity in ADHD: Goal-Directed Motivation and Domain Specificity. Journal of attention disorders24(13), 1857–1866. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054717727352
  6. Taylor, Christa & E. Zaghi, Arash & Kaufman, James & Reis, Sally & Renzulli, Joseph. (2020). Divergent thinking and academic performance of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder characteristics in engineering. Journal of Engineering Education. 109. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jee.20310

The ADHD nervous system

  1. Nestor J. (2021). Breath: the new science of a lost art. Penguin Life.
  2. Van der Kolk B. A. (2015). The body keeps the score: brain mind and body in the healing of trauma. Penguin Books.
  3. Rukmani, M. R., Seshadri, S. P., Thennarasu, K., Raju, T. R., & Sathyaprabha, T. N. (2016). Heart Rate Variability in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Pilot Study. Annals of Neurosciences, 23(2), 81–88. https://doi.org/10.1159/000443574
  4. Robe, A., Dobrean, A., Cristea, I. A., Păsărelu, C. R., & Predescu, E. (2019). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and task-related heart rate variability: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 99, 11-22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.01.022.
  5. Taylor, A. G., Goehler, L. E., Galper, D. I., Innes, K. E., & Bourguignon, C. (2010). Top-down and bottom-up mechanisms in mind-body medicine: development of an integrative framework for psychophysiological research. Explore (New York, N.Y.)6(1), 29–41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2009.10.004
  6. Morris, S. S. J., Musser, E. D., Tenenbaum, R. B., Ward, A. R., Martinez, J., Raiker, J. S., Coles, E. K., & Riopelle, C. (2020). Emotion Regulation via the Autonomic Nervous System in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Replication and Extension. Journal of abnormal child psychology48(3), 361–373. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-019-00593-8
  7. Panagiotidi, M., Overton, P. G., & Stafford, T. (2018). The relationship between ADHD traits and sensory sensitivity in the general population. Comprehensive psychiatry80, 179–185. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2017.10.008
  8. Saccaro, L. F., Schilliger, Z., Perroud, N., & Piguet, C. (2021). Inflammation, Anxiety, and Stress in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Biomedicines9(10), 1313. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9101313
  9. Kop, W. J., Synowski, S. J., Newell, M. E., Schmidt, L. A., Waldstein, S. R., & Fox, N. A. (2011). Autonomic nervous system reactivity to positive and negative mood induction: the role of acute psychological responses and frontal electrocortical activity. Biological psychology86(3), 230–238. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2010.12.003
  10. Sterling P. (2012). Allostasis: a model of predictive regulation. Physiology & behavior106(1), 5–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.06.004
  11. Basu, Sandhya & Banerjee, Bidisha. (2022). Potential of binaural beats intervention for improving memory and attention: insights from meta-analysis and systematic review. Psychological Research. 87. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00426-022-01706-7
  12. Dabiri R, Monazzam Esmaielpour MR, Salmani Nodoushan M, Khaneshenas F, Zakerian SA. The effect of auditory stimulation using delta binaural beat for a better sleep and post-sleep mood: A pilot study. Digit Health. 2022 May 20;8:20552076221102243. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35615269/

ADHD emotional dysregulation

  1. Wolfgang Retz, Rolf-Dieter Stieglitz, Salvatore Corbisiero, Petra Retz-Junginger & Michael Rösler (2012) Emotional dysregulation in adult ADHD: what is the empirical evidence?, Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 12:10, 1241-1251, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23082740/
  2. Schwartz, R. C. (2021). No bad parts : healing trauma and restoring wholeness with the internal family systems model. Sounds True.
  3. Christiansen, H., Hirsch, O., Albrecht, B. et al.  (2019). Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Emotion Regulation Over the Life Span. Curr Psychiatry Rep 21, 17. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-019-1003-6
  4. Toner, M., O'Donoghue, T., & Houghton, S. (2006). Living in Chaos and Striving for Control : How adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder deal with their disorder. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education53(2), 247-261. https://doi.org/10.1080/10349120600716190
  5. Compare, A., Zarbo, C., Shonin, E., Van Gordon, W., & Marconi, C. (2014). Emotional Regulation and Depression: A Potential Mediator between Heart and Mind. Cardiovascular psychiatry and neurology2014, 324374. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/324374

ADHD general definitions & research overview

  1. Champ, R. E., Adamou, M., & Tolchard, B. (2021). The impact of psychological theory on the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults: A scoping review. PLoS Onehttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34932573/
  2. Cortese, S., Sabé, M., Chen, C., Perroud, N., & Solmi, M. (2022). Half a century of research on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A scientometric study. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviewshttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763422002585
  3. Faraone, S. V., Banaschewski, T., Coghill, D., Zheng, Y., et al. (2021). The World Federation of ADHD International Consensus Statement: 208 Evidence-based conclusions about the disorder. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviewshttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014976342100049X
  4. National Institute of Mental Health. (2023, September 13). Definitions of ADHD. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, September 13). Symptoms and Diagnosis of ADHD: DSM-V. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/diagnosis.html
  6. Bisset, M., Brown, L. E., Bhide, S., Patel, P., Zendarski, N., Coghill, D., Payne, L., Bellgrove, M. A., Middeldorp, C. M., & Sciberras, E. (2023). Practitioner Review: It's time to bridge the gap - understanding the unmet needs of consumers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder - a systematic review and recommendations. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines64(6), 848–858. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13752
  7. Singer J. (2017). Neurodiversity : the birth of an idea. Self-published.

List updated: Sept 2023


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