A Developmental Examination of Story Recall and Coherence Among Children with ADHD


This study investigated developmental differences in story recall in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), N = 57 (77.2% male) and their comparison peers, N = 98 (61.2% male). Children at the ages of 4–6 or 7–9 completed a free recall immediately after viewing each of two televised stories, once in the presence of toys during viewing and once in their absence. This procedure was repeated with new stories 21 months later. Comparison children recalled more story events and showed a greater sensitivity to the thematic importance of the story events than did children with ADHD, a pattern that remained stable over time. Older comparison children showed a dramatic increase over time in the global coherence of their narrations, whereas the older children with ADHD showed limited improvement over time. The implications of these findings for academic performance and the possible need for remediation are discussed.

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Online version of this article was published December 19, 2009.

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