Faculty Publications

Professor And Peer Perceptions Of Requests For Academic Accommodations In College: An Examination Of Adhd And Specific Learning Disorder

Document Type



academic accommodations, ADHD, athletics, college, perceptions, specific learning disorder, stigma

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Psychological Reports


University students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and specific learning disorder (SLD) have higher rates of academic difficulty than their unaffected peers. Thus, some academic accommodations may be useful to them. However, research suggests that college students are hesitant to use their approved academic accommodations for fear of negative perceptions. The aim of the current study was to examine the perceptions of professors and fellow college students (i.e., peers) who were presented with a vignette depicting a fictitious student requesting an academic accommodation. It was hypothesized that professors and peers would have more negative impressions of students needing accommodations because of ADHD and SLD diagnoses, as compared to three other reasons (i.e., depression, a visual impairment, or collegiate athletics [specifically basketball]). In a sequence of two similar experiments, professors and then peers were presented with one of the five vignettes, and were asked to rate the student on various measures of academic ability and work ethic, among other things. Overall, our data suggested relatively positive perceptions of college students who request academic accommodations. However, contrary to the hypothesis, the fictitious basketball player received the most negative ratings. Implications and future directions are discussed.


Department of Psychology

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version