The proposed studies are designed to continue recent work by the present investigators applying the methodology-of television viewing studies to enhance understanding of the cognitive processing of attention-deficit hyperactivity disordered (ADHD) children. Specifically, this methodology will be employed to examine factors that influence ADHD children's story comprehension. This approach has been used successfully to investigate the development of attention and comprehension in nonreferred children. Procedures avoid the monotony and artificiality of laboratory tasks, allow for assessment of higher order cognitive processing, and reflect children's everyday experiences, thereby increasing the generalizability of the results. Two studies employing the television methodology are proposed to explicate structural factors of stories that influence comprehension of ADHD children. These structural factors include perceived importance of units of story information and the causal connections among units of a story. In addition, the role that attention may play in mediating the relation between the structural factors and comprehension will be examined. Specific questions to be addressed include: (1) To what extent do the structural factors predict comprehension, and does this relation differ for ADHD and control children? (2) Does the relationship between structural factors and comprehension vary as a function of the presence of a competing activity? (3) What variations in attentional strategies are produced by specific task demands, and do these affect comprehension? (4) Are there differences in the comprehension of ADHD and control children as function of modality (auditory, visual, audiovisual) of presentation? Traditional laboratory investigations of ADHD children have focused almost exclusively on the nature of the attentional difficulties of these children. An understanding of attention, although necessary, is not sufficient for elucidating the higher order cognitive processes of ADHD children. There are many other factors that influence comprehension that have not received systematic investigation. The proposed studies may be the first to offer a comprehensive examination of the relation among attention, structural factors, and story comprehension of ADHD children. These results should help bridge the gap between knowledge of attentional processes and higher order cognitive functioning.

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National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Child Psychopathology and Treatment Review Committee (CPT)
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University of Kentucky
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Derefinko, Karen J; Hayden, Angela; Sibley, Margaret H et al. (2014) A Story Mapping Intervention to Improve Narrative Comprehension Deficits in Adolescents with ADHD. School Ment Health 6:251-263
Lorch, Elizabeth P; Milich, Richard; Flake, Rebecca A et al. (2010) A developmental examination of story recall and coherence among children with ADHD. J Abnorm Child Psychol 38:291-301
Berthiaume, Kristen S; Lorch, Elizabeth P; Milich, Richard (2010) Getting clued in: inferential processing and comprehension monitoring in boys with ADHD. J Atten Disord 14:31-42
Bailey, Ursula L; Lorch, Elizabeth P; Milich, Richard et al. (2009) Developmental changes in attention and comprehension among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Child Dev 80:1842-55
Leonard, Melinda A; Lorch, Elizabeth P; Milich, Richard et al. (2009) Parent--child joint picture-book reading among children with ADHD. J Atten Disord 12:361-71
Flake, Rebecca A; Lorch, Elizabeth P; Milich, Richard (2007) The effects of thematic importance on story recall among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and comparison children. J Abnorm Child Psychol 35:43-53
Lorch, Elizabeth P; Milich, Richard; Astrin, Clarese C et al. (2006) Cognitive engagement and story comprehension in typically developing children and children with ADHD from preschool through elementary school. Dev Psychol 42:1206-19
Flory, Kate; Milich, Richard; Lorch, Elizabeth P et al. (2006) Online story comprehension among children with ADHD: which core deficits are involved? J Abnorm Child Psychol 34:853-65
Acevedo-Polakovich, Ignacio David; Lorch, Elizabeth Pugzles; Milich, Richard et al. (2006) Disentangling the relation between television viewing and cognitive processes in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and comparison children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 160:354-60
Pugzles Lorch, Elizabeth; Eastham, David; Milich, Richard et al. (2004) Difficulties in comprehending causal relations among children with ADHD: the role of cognitive engagement. J Abnorm Psychol 113:56-63

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