Story Comprehension and the Impact of Studying on Recall in Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


This study examined the impact of studying on story comprehension and recall among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Participants in the study were 36 children with ADHD and 43 nonreferred comparison children ages 7 to 11. The participants listened to 1 of 2 folktales and recalled the story both before and after studying a written version of the story for up to 10 min. The stories had been divided into individual events, and each event was coded for the number of causal connections it had to other story events. Each event was presented on a separate page of the study booklet so that time spent on each event could be recorded. All of the transcribed recalls were coded for which story events the participant correctly recalled. For both groups, recall increased as the number of causal connections increased, but the effect of the number of causal connections on recall was stronger for comparison children than for children with ADHD. The results revealed no group differences in studying behavior. However, when recall before studying was included as a predictor of recall after studying, studying was found to be more effective for higher IQ comparison children than for higher IQ children with ADHD, especially at the highest levels of causal connections. The results offer important leads for the development of academic interventions that are specific to the story-comprehension deficits of children with ADHD.

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This article was made available online June 7, 2010.

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