Date of Conferral







Hedy Dexter


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has continued to be diagnosed in school-aged children at a high rate. Students with this diagnosis often display negative behaviors and poor academic performance, leading to the need for school-based interventions. Although the use of school-based interventions has shown to be moderately effective, the need to identify the student’s perspective is warranted. The purpose of this general qualitative study was to explore the effectiveness of therapeutic day treatment from the student’s perspective. While parents and teachers have found therapeutic day treatment useful, research to date from the student’s perspective is lacking. Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development was the framework for this study. Vygotsky believed that a child’s social interaction plays a significant role in the child’s cognitive development, including their academic and behavioral performance. Data were collected through virtual semi structured interviews with eight elementary and middle school-aged, ADHD-diagnosed students to solicit accounts of their experience with therapeutic day treatment and its perceived impact on their academic experience. The findings of this study suggest that the therapeutic day treatment program, by supporting students behaviorally, academically, and socially, has the potential to effect positive social change by motivating ADHD-diagnosed students to prioritize schoolwork and, ultimately, graduate.