Impact of Perceived Social Support on the Relationship between ADHD and Depressive Symptoms among First Year Medical Students: A Structural Equation Model Approach
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with depression among college students, while perceived social support is also associated with depression, especially among young adults. This study aimed to examine to what extent perceived social support mediated the relationship between ADHD symptoms and depressive symptoms. Methods: In total, 124 first year medical students completed the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale Screener (ASRS), the Patient Health questionnaire-9 and the
... ed Thai Multidimensional scale of perceived social support reflecting ADHD symptoms, depressive symptoms, and perceive social support, i.e., family members, friends and other significant people, respectively. Structural equation modeling was used to investigate the hypothesized mediation model. Results: ADHD symptoms exhibited a significant indirect effect on depressive symptoms via perceived social support. ADHD symptoms initially had a direct effect on depression; thereafter, it reduced to a non-significance effect after perceived social support was added. The total variance explained by this model was 35.2%. The mediation model with family support as a mediator showed the highest effect size. Conclusions: The study highlighted the importance of perceived social support, particularly family support, on depressive symptoms among young medical students experiencing ADHD symptoms. The model suggests promising relationships for further research on ADHD-related depression and potential treatment in the future.