Difficulties in Comprehending Causal Relations Among Children With ADHD: The Role of Cognitive Engagement


The present study examined whether time spent in long looks (i.e., >=15 s), an index of cognitive engagement, would account for differences between children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and comparison children in understanding causal relations. Children viewed two televised stories, once in the presence of toys and once in their absence. Dependent variables were visual attention and questions tapping factual information and causal relations. Comparison children answered significantly more causal relations questions than did the children with ADHD, but only in the toys-present condition. Four lines of evidence revealed that the difficulties children with ADHD had in answering causal relations questions in the toys-present condition could be linked specifically to this group's decreased time spent in long looks.

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