Coping with emotional dysregulation among young adults with ADHD: A mixed-method study of self-awareness and strategies in daily life

Maayan Ben-Dor Cohen*, Mor Nahum, Ruthie Traub Bar-Ilan, Eran Eldar, Adina Maeir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Emotional dysregulation (ED) impacts functional outcomes among individuals with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Self-awareness and strategies may enhance coping with ED yet are rarely studied in ADHD. Objectives: To explore ED-related self-awareness and strategies in daily life of adults with ADHD, and to examine the interrelations between them and their association with symptoms. Methods: Sixty young adults with ADHD participated in a mixed-method study. At baseline, self-awareness and strategies were assessed using the Self-Regulation Skills Interview (SRSI); ADHD symptoms were self-rated using the ASRS symptom checklist. Then, symptoms were rated over 5-days using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Results: Significant challenges in self-awareness and strategies were demonstrated quantitatively and qualitatively. Awareness of ED was associated with variability of ADHD symptoms on EMA yet not with symptom severity. Qualitative content analysis revealed a range of self-awareness levels, which were related to noticing ED-related cues and understanding contextual factors predictive of ED. Self-awareness and strategies were significantly associated. Strategies varied regarding effort, individual preference and temporality. Conclusions: Variability of ADHD symptoms was negatively associated with self-awareness of ED. Strategy selection in daily-life among adults with ADHD may be affected by self-awareness and by a possible trade-off between short-term effort and long-term effectiveness.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-25
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Early online date16 Nov 2023
StateE-pub ahead of print - 16 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • ADHD
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • ecological momentary assessment
  • self-awareness
  • strategies


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