Story comprehension in children with ADHD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A wealth of research is available examining children's story comprehension. However, little attention has been directed toward understanding the story comprehension of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The present paper attempts to integrate the developmental literature on children's story comprehension with the little that is known about the story comprehension processes of children with ADHD. This review is guided by a network model of story representation that emphasizes the structure of causal and enabling relations between story events. Examination of the available studies indicates that children with ADHD lag behind their peers in their understanding of causal relations, and that their attentional problems may contribute to difficulties in understanding factual information in the preschool years and causally related information in the elementary years. Some evidence also is presented suggesting that children with ADHD are less effective in taking advantage of story structure features in guiding their recall of story events. Suggestions for future research are offered that would elaborate our knowledge of the developmental progression in the processing of complex information by children with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages16
JournalClinical Child and Family Psychology Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Preparation of this paper was supported by NIH grant MH47386 to the first author. The authors thank Erin Murphy and Clarese Lemberger for helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper.


  • ADHD
  • Attention
  • Story comprehension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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