Predictive inference generation and story comprehension among children with ADHD: Is making predictions helpful?

Angela Hayden, Elizabeth P. Lorch, Richard Milich, Cristina Cosoreanu, Jessica Van Neste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Children with ADHD exhibit narrative comprehension difficulties relative to typically developing peers. One unexplored comprehension area for this population is the generation of explanatory predictive inferences. Plausible explanatory predictive inferences allow for smooth integration of new information, and are targeted in many comprehension interventions. The current study examined three questions: (1) Is there a difference between children with ADHD and typically developing children in the creation of explanatory predictive inferences during a predictive prompt task? (2) Does the group difference in the generation of these inferences mediate group differences in recall measures? (3) Does the act of making predictions during story presentation improve recall relative to a control condition? Seven- to 11-year-old children with and without ADHD listened to two audio-taped stories, and made predictions at several pauses during one of the stories (predictive prompt task). The recording of the other story was paused without asking for predictions in the control task. Children recalled the story following the task. During the predictive prompt task, children with ADHD generated fewer plausible explanatory predictive inferences than typically developing peers and this group difference mediated a group difference in the recall of highly important events. Further, children in both diagnostic groups included more plausible explanatory backwards inferences during recall following the predictive prompt task than following the control task. Given the importance of explanatory inferences in constructing coherent story representations, these findings are encouraging for educators using predictive tasks but indicate that children with ADHD may need further instruction on generating appropriate predictive inferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-134
Number of pages12
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • ADHD
  • Comprehension
  • Predictions
  • Predictive inferences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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