Comprehension of Televised Stories in Boys With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Nonreferred Boys


Two studies compared comprehension of televised stories by 7- to 12-year-old boys with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and nonreferred comparison boys. Boys watched one show with toys present and one with toys absent. Visual attention was continuously recorded, and recall was tested after each show. Across studies, visual attention was high with toys absent but decreased sharply with toys present for boys with ADHD. Groups showed similar levels of cued recall of discrete units of information regardless of differences in attention. When recall tasks and television story structure required knowledge of relations among events, the reduced attention of boys with ADHD interfered with recall. Although visual attention of comparison boys also decreased to some extent with toys present, there was no such decrement in recall. Implications of the difficulties children with ADHD have in integrated story comprehension are discussed.

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