Attention Deficits and Reading Disabilities: Are Immediate Memory Defects Additive?

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    • Abstract:
      This study examined the interaction of Attention Deficits and Learning Disabilities on the immediate memory abilities of children. Forty children, between 7 years 0 months and 13 years 11 months old, independently diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [3rd ed., rev. [DSM-III-R]; American Psychiatric Association, 1987]) by a pediatrician and a pediatric psychologist were matched to 40 children who were independently diagnosed with Undifferentiated Attention Deficit Disorder (UADD; criteria from DSM-III-R) according to Full Scale IQ, grade, and sex. These children were further subgrouped based on the presence of an identified Learning Disability (LD) in reading. Consequently four groups of children were formed, ADHD+LD, ADHD-LD, UADD+LD, and UADD-LD. All children were administered the Color Span Test, a test of immediate visual and verbal memory. The findings revealed that, overall, children with attention deficits and a comorbid LD (ADHD+LD, UADD+LD) had greater memory deficits, suggesting that LD had an "additive effect." In addition, children with ADHD exhibited significantly more memory deficits than children with UADD. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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