Comprehension of Televised Stories by Preschool Children with ADHD

Rebecca Polley Sanchez, Elizabeth Pugzles Lorch, Richard Milich, Richard Welsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Investigated visual attention to and story comprehension of televised stories in 4-to 6-year-old children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and comparison children. Half of the children in each group watched the program with toys in the room, and the other half watched without toys. Visual attention to the television was recorded, and story comprehension was assessed by performance on cued recall questions. All children attended significantly less when toys were present, but the difference when toys were present was greater for children with ADHD. The groups did not differ on recall of factual information when toys were absent. When toys were present, the comparison children showed no decrement in performance on factual questions, whereas the performance of children with ADHD was significantly worse. On questions testing causal connections, the children with ADHD performed more poorly than comparison children regardless of whether toys were present. Implications of these results for understanding and treating the academic and social difficulties of children with ADHD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-385
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant 5 RO1 MH47386 to Elizabeth Pugzles Lorch. We thank Kim Hooks, Mary Beth Diener, Erin Murphy, and Tirsit Brooks for their assistance. Requests for reprints should be sent to Elizabeth Pugzles Lorch, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506–0044. E-mail:

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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