A developmental examination of story recall and coherence among children with ADHD

Elizabeth P. Lorch, Richard Milich, Rebecca A. Flake, Joanna Ohlendorf, Summer Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-301
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health Grant MH47386.


  • ADHD
  • Longitudinal
  • Story coherence
  • Story recall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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