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Managing Emotions

Emotion Regulation and Well-being of German and Latin American adults with ADHD

The exploratory study investigates the influence of cultural norms and the social context on emotion regulation and well-being of adults with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The objective of this research project is to expand the understanding of bio-socio-cultural interactions affecting life with ADHD.


By means of a cultural-comparative approach, the roles of socialization and the current socio-cultural context will be examined. For this purpose, adults with ADHD that were socialized either in Germany or in Latin America will be surveyed. The study aims to answer two questions:


  1. Are there cultural differences regarding emotion regulation and well-being among adults with ADHD?
  2. How do these differences relate to different cultural norms and attitudes towards emotions?


Empirically, the study uses a mixed methods approach. Quantitative data from an anonymous online survey will be combined with qualitative data from focus group interviews. The survey contains questions regarding socio-demographic variables, ADHD, difficulties in emotion regulation, emotion regulation strategies and different aspects of well-being. To understand emotion norms, participants in focus group interviews will be asked to discuss various scenarios.


The theoretical frame of the research is based on a neurodiversity perspective on ADHD and an anthropological approach to emotion regulation. Thus, the study places the focus on the concepts of normality and disorder as well as the embeddedness of emotion regulation in a wider socio-cultural context. The project combines transcultural psychiatry, research on ADHD and emotion regulation with anthropological approaches.


By examining social and cultural factors influencing the lives of adults with ADHD with a focus on migration, we hope to generate impulses for therapeutic interventions as well as to provide knowledge regarding the mental health needs of migrants. On an academic level, the objective is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the influence of the sociocultural environment on mental disorders as well as to expand the knowledge about emotion processes and their socio-cultural embeddedness.


The study constitutes a pilot study for further research on the cultural context of ADHD as well as to the socialization of emotion and social emotion regulation processes. The project is carried out by Kathrin Bauer, M.A. under the direction of Prof. Dr. Birgitt Röttger-Rössler. Further information in German and Spanish, as well as the survey, can be found on https://adhsemotion.wixsite.com/managingemotions.


Berlin Southern Theory Lecture