ADHD-like Behavior and Entrepreneurial Intentions

Ingrid Verheul, Joern Block, Katrin Burmeister-Lamp, Roy Thurik, Henning Tiemeier, Roxana Turturea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Little is known about the relation between entrepreneurship and the extent of psychiatric symptoms. Validated psychiatric symptom scores are seldom used for non-clinical reasons. One prevalent symptom that deserves our interest is Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a developmental disorder characterized by inattentiveness and hyperactivity that has been linked to occupational choice and performance. Building on the person–environment fit literature, we hypothesize that individuals who exhibit behavior associated with ADHD are more likely to have entrepreneurial intentions. Using a sample of 10,104 students enrolled in higher education, we can confirm our prediction that students with a higher level of ADHD-like behavior are more likely to have entrepreneurial intentions. Additionally, we show that risk taking propensity is a mediator that partly explains this positive effect. Our study points to the importance of behavioral tendencies associated with developmental disorders, when making entrepreneurship decisions. Our study contributes to the literature on the determinants of entrepreneurship, which so far has largely neglected the effects of psychiatric symptoms on entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85
Number of pages101
JournalSmall Business Economics
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • ADHD-like behavior
  • entrepreneurial intentions
  • risk propensity


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