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Developmental Changes in Attention and Comprehension Among Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


  • This research was funded by Grant MH47386 from the National Institute of Mental Health and Grant DA005312 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

concerning this article should be addressed to Richard Milich, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0044. Electronic mail may be sent to


Changes in visual attention and story comprehension for children (= 132) with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and comparison peers were examined. Between the ages of 7 and 9 (Phase 1) and approximately 21 months later (Phase 2), children viewed 2 televised stories: 1 in the presence of toys and 1 in their absence. Both groups of children showed developmental increases in visual attention and stable group differences over time. Deficits in comprehension among children with ADHD, however, increased over time. Whereas comparison children’s recall of factual and causal information increased over time in both viewing conditions, children with ADHD showed no developmental improvement in recall of factual information in the toys-present condition and no improvement in recall of causal relations in either viewing condition.