Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 507–510 | Cite as

The effects of sensory distractions on short-term recall of children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder versus normally achieving children

  • Paula Higginbotham
  • Carl Bartling


Children diagnosed with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have difficulties in learning, attributable, in part, to varying attention. Learning requires the use of memory. However, children may often miss a word or phrase that is essential to the processing of information, memory, and learning. This study addressed short-term recall in 11 children with ADHD and 8 normally achieving children (matched for age and grade) on repetitive tasks involving auditory, visual, and combined distractions. The children with ADHD performed more poorly in the middle and end (but not at the beginning) of a short-term recall task than did the normally achieving children matched for age and grade. Both groups of children showed a decrement in performance on the short-term recall task from the beginning to the middle to the end of the task. However, the decrement in performance directly attributable to specific sensory distractions was relatively small (about 2%–14%) and statistically nonsignficant in comparison with decreases in performance attributable to increasing proactive interference, increasing difficulty of the statements from begining to end of a 30-statement set, and other factors.


Proactive Interference Learning Disa Distraction Condition Attention Deficit Disorder Distraction Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paula Higginbotham
    • 1
  • Carl Bartling
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMcNeese State UniversityLake Charles

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