Date of Award
Master of Arts
The contributions of executive functions to reading comprehension have been well studied in the general population. Additionally, many studies have examined executive functioning in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, few studies have examined the relationship between the three concepts. Hence, this study examined the relationship between executive functions and reading comprehension within the context of ADHD and its symptoms. Data from children with ADHD and controls were obtained from larger, grant-funded studies. Both lab-administered and questionnaire measures were utilized. It was hypothesized that verbal working memory, planning, shift, and proactive interference would contribute to reading comprehension, both in the total sample and in ADHD. Behavioral inhibition was not expected to contribute to the relationship. Results suggest that verbal working memory is related to reading comprehension, both in controls and children with ADHD. However, no other executive functions were related to reading comprehension when controlling for basic reading and language comprehension. These control variables made significant contributions in the analyses, which suggests they are important to consider when examining the relationship between executive functions and reading comprehension. Hence, future research should examine verbal working memory in relation to basic reading and oral language when studying its contribution to reading comprehension.
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