Academic red-shirting and academic achievement among students with ADHD

Lucy Barnard-Brak, Tara Stevens, Evan Albright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Academic red-shirting via voluntary delayed school entry is a debatable practice for students but has been argued a potentially viable practice for children with a range of disabilities by providing students “the gift of time.” The current study (n = 21,409) indicated that children with ADHD (n = 1057) were more likely to be red-shirted as compared to children without ADHD (n = 20,352). We examined the academic trajectories of those children with ADHD who were red-shirted versus children with ADHD who were not red-shirted. Results revealed no meaningful association of red-shirting with academic achievement across time. We subsequently examined the relationship of red-shirting and academic achievement among children with ADHD who received medication (n = 426) versus children with ADHD who did not receive medication (n = 631). Among children with medicated ADHD, the negative association of red-shirting with achievement across time was stronger but medication received was also associated with more severe symptoms of inattention across time, which may account for this relationship. Academic red-shirting does not appear to be especially beneficial for students with ADHD (medicated or not) in terms of academic achievement across time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-12
Number of pages9
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • ADHD
  • Achievement
  • Red-shirting


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