The results of a new study being released this week at the Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) annual conference in Atlanta demonstrate the effectiveness of a new model of coaching, developed exclusively for and used by the Edge Foundation, to help college students with ADHD improve executive functioning, which is their ability to organize, set and achieve goals, and self regulate — all critical skills needed for a successful post secondary education. Additionally, students who participated in the study felt that coaching helped them feel less stress, greater empowerment, increased confidence and have more balanced lives.
Researchers from Wayne State University in Michigan conducted the study over two years in 10 universities and community colleges throughout the country and tracked the progress of 110 students with ADHD. It is the largest and most comprehensive study of ADHD coaching conducted to-date. The research team measured students’ progress through both quantitative and qualitative analysis and have determined , “This study demonstrated that the Edge coaching model was highly effective in helping students improve executive functioning and related skills as measured by the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI; Weinstein & Palmer, 2002). The magnitude of the effect size for self regulation was more than double the typical educational intervention, and executive functioning was quadruple. Findings with effect sizes that large are rare.”
Coaching has long been used by corporations to improve performance of CEOs and executives, but little research has been done until now on the impact this particular kind of intervention may have on populations with learning disabilities, like those living with ADHD. While medication has been shown to improve academic productivity (better note-taking, scores on quizzes and worksheets, and homework completion), medication alone is not associated with skills students need to meet the demands of college which they must navigate more independently than in previous schooling.
The Edge Foundation coaches work with students in seven major areas: scheduling, goal setting, confidence building, organizing, focusing, prioritizing and persisting at tasks. They help students assess their environments, identify needs, set goals, and offer suggestions and guidance. Coaches monitor student progress and goals through regular phone or e-mail check-ins.
What do you think of the research? We’d love to hear your comments.