Year of Publication

2005

Document Type

Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Elizabeth Lorch

Abstract

Three questions were investigated in the current study. First, do children with ADHD have language deficiencies in comparison to non-referred peers? Second, are there diagnostic group differences in parent and child storytelling when interacting in a joint picture-book setting or in parent reported home literacy habits? Third, are these differences related to child language scores? Parents of 25 children with ADHD and 39 comparison children, average age 7 years 6 months, told their children a story based on a wordless picture-book, and children then retold the story to an examiner without using the book. In addition, children made up two of their own stories and completed a standardized test of receptive and expressive language abilities. Children with ADHD demonstrated an expressive language deficiency compared to the non-referred children, but there was no group difference in receptive language scores. Parents of children in both groups told stories of similar length and complexity, as well as affective and responsive quality. However, for the ADHD group but not the comparison group, more positive and responsive parents told stories on a lower grade level. The length of the childs retell of the parents story did not differ across groups but children with ADHD told shorter stories when asked to make up their own stories without the external structure or salience of visual cues. Further, there were no significant group differences in the relations between parent storytelling and child language scores. The implications of these findings for understanding parent and child storytelling and language abilities of children with ADHD are discussed.

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