Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Sarah O'Neill


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obesity, neighborhood socioeconomic status, college students


This study aimed to examine whether neighborhood-level socioeconomic status (NSES) moderated the Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)-overweight/obesity association. Participants (N=568; mean (SD) age = 20.74 (3.20) years; 70.8% female) were part- time or full-time students attending the City College of New York. They were recruited through an online platform and participated in the study in exchange for course credit. Eligible participants were required to self-report their height, weight, from which body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Participants were categorized as Low BMI (Underweight or Typical BMI) or High BMI (Overweight or Obese BMI). Participants self-reported current ADHD symptoms using the ADHD-EF Index of the Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale. They were then categorized as Low or High ADHD, with threshold set at scores 1 or more SD above the mean. Multiple indices of deprivation were coded from US Census data for each participant’s zip code, from which a factor analysis generated two NSES factors. A chi square analysis indicated that individuals with High ADHD were no more likely to be in the High BMI group than individuals with Low ADHD. To test the interaction of ADHD and NSES on BMI status, a binary logistic regression was conducted. Neither ADHD nor NSES were found to be significant predictors of BMI status, and there was no significant interaction. This study confronts the difficulty of attempting to understand physical and mental health outcomes by measuring socioeconomic status on a community level. We also discuss the importance of socioeconomic status in psychological research.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.