Presentation on theme: "Introduction Children with Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are at risk for academic delays. At least one-third repeat an elementary grade,"— Presentation transcript:
Introduction Children with Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are at risk for academic delays. At least one-third repeat an elementary grade, and 30-40% have contact with special education services (DuPaul & Stoner, 2003). There is theoretical consensus that a working memory deficit contributes to the disorder in general and achievement difficulties in particular (Barkley, 1997; Rapport, Chung, Shore, & Isaacs, 2001). Problems in working memory can manifest in multiple ways. However, their clinical assessment usually focuses on the child’s auditory sequential ability (e.g., WISC-IV Digit Span). Working memory is a complex multi- dimensional construct that includes, among other factors, memory for object location (i.e., visual-spatial memory). Children must remember object locations to carry out basic daily tasks, such as locating one’s workbook at school or finding one’s way to a friend’s house. Surprisingly, there are no known studies that have examined memory for object locations among children with ADHD. The first purpose of this investigation was to determine whether children with ADHD, relative to symptom-free age-mates, exhibit greater difficulty when learning and remembering object locations. When children are challenged with memory tasks, they tend to rely on mnemonic strategies. Talking-to-self is one such tactic, and studies of this phenomenon, known as private speech, indicate that children with ADHD engage in more frequent, albeit less mature, forms of private speech (Landau, Berk, & Mangione, 1996). However, no study to date has examined the use of private speech for mnemonic purposes among children with ADHD. The second purpose of this investigation was to assess the use and functional utility of private speech during an object-location memory task among children with and without ADHD. Memory For Object Locations Among Boys With And Without ADHD Sarah G. Reck, Alycia M. Hund, & Steven Landau Illinois State University Method Participants Ten 7- to 12-year-old boys with ADHD, and 17 symptom-free boys of the same age, served as participants. Boys with ADHD met established categorical and dimensional criteria (e.g., ADHD-IV Rating Scale Home Version; DuPaul et al., 1998) for the disorder, and were unmedicated during data collection. Symptom-free boys scored below the 50th percentile on this rating scale. Materials and Apparatus A 32-in. x 32-in. x 13-in. open, square box was used for memory testing (see Figure 1). White lines divided the box into four quadrants. Twenty yellow dots on the box floor marked object locations to be learned, and participants were asked to place 20 miniature objects in these locations. Digit Span and Vocabulary subtests from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV) were administered to all participants. Procedure After completing Digit Span and Vocabulary subtests, participants learned the locations of 20 miniature objects in the box. To begin, participants watched the researcher place the objects in marked locations on the box floor. Then, all objects were removed, and participants were asked to replace the objects in their proper locations. This learning phase continued until all 20 objects were correctly replaced. In the testing phase, participants were asked to place all of the objects without the aid of the location markings and dividing lines. Coding and Measures Children’s’ memory for object locations was coded in a manner consistent with research described by Hund and Plumert (2003). Participants received an error score reflecting the number of objects placed incorrectly during their first learning trial. This score represents the number of incorrect placements within the proper quadrant. Participants received a location perseveration score, reflecting the number of times they repeatedly placed objects in the same incorrect location. To assess mnemonic strategies, participants’ self-directed vocalizations during the location memory task were coded offline. This private speech was divided into 3 levels: task-irrelevant private speech, task-relevant externalized private speech, and task-relevant external manifestations of inaudible speech (Landau et al., 1996). For the purpose of this study, participants’ rate of audible task-relevant self-guiding and descriptive private speech was coded. Results As predicted, boys with ADHD made significantly more first-trial errors within the correct quadrant than their symptom-free counterparts. Moreover, greater error making was predicted by parent ratings of Hyperactivity- Impulsivity and Inattention. These findings support theoretical claims of a working memory deficit among children with ADHD (Barkley, 1997; Rapport et al., 2001), and specifically implicate visuospatial working memory (Barnett, Maruff, & Vance, 2005). Second, results revealed developmental differences between boys with and without ADHD in the topography of private speech. Consistent with Vygotskian (1987) theory, which posits that children rely more heavily on task-relevant speech-to-self as task demands become challenging, older boys with ADHD were using this mnemonic strategy in a manner similar to younger boys without ADHD. In addition, findings indicate that task-relevant externalized private speech may not yet be developed among younger boys with ADHD. This pattern of findings is consistent with previous ADHD research that has focused on math problem solving (i.e., Landau et al., 1996), but is the first demonstration of this effect as it pertains to children’s memory for object locations. ____________________________________________________________ Figure 1. The Apparatus and Locations Figure 2: Self-Guiding Private Speech Among Younger and Older Boys with and without ADHD Discussion Abstract Remembering the locations of objects is essential. For example, efficiently completing a homework assignment involves finding necessary books and writing materials. Anecdotal evidence suggests that children with Attention- deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have difficulty remembering the locations of objects. One strategy for aiding memory is the use of speech- to-self (i.e., private speech). The goal of the present study was to investigate how 7- to 12-year old boys with and without ADHD remember the locations of objects. Participants learned locations of 20 miniature objects placed on dots in an open, square box. During testing, participants were asked to replace the objects in their correct locations without the aid of the dots. Memory accuracy and private speech were coded from video recordings. As predicted, boys with ADHD demonstrated poorer performance in object location memory than boys without ADHD. Specifically, boys with ADHD made more errors during their first learning trial and more location perseveration errors during the learning phase. Also, diagnostic status and age interacted in the topography of boys’ private speech as a mnemonic strategy. This study supports the theoretically implicated working memory deficit associated with ADHD, and provides specific evidence regarding problems with object location memory and mnemonic strategies used by boys with ADHD. Relative to symptom-free age-mates, boys with ADHD evinced greater difficulty in object-location memory. Specifically, these boys (M = 2.30, SD = 1.49) made significantly more first-trial errors (within the correct quadrant) than boys without ADHD (M = 1.06, SD =.90), F (1, 22) = 4.81, p <.05. From an ADHD symptom severity perspective, parent ratings of Hyperactivity-Impulsivity, r (25) =.35, p <.05, and Inattention, r (25) =.41, p <.05, predicted the number of these location errors. In addition, boys more symptomatic of Hyperactivity-Impulsivity, r (25) =.35, p <.05, and Inattention, r (25) =.32, p =.052, made more location perseveration errors. This poster, including references, can be accessed under "Student Research" at: Offline coding of boys’ verbalizations during memory trials revealed a developmental difference in the topography of private speech between boys with and without ADHD. Based on a median split of boys’ age (Median = years), results revealed a significant Diagnostic Status x Age Group interaction, F(1, 22) = 6.35, p <.05 (see Figure 2). Among symptom-free boys, simple effects tests revealed that younger boys (M = 14.27, SD = 15.69) exhibited significantly more audible task-relevant (i.e., Level 2) private speech than older boys (M = 1.47, SD = 1.76), F (1, 15) = 6.73, p <.05. In contrast, among boys with ADHD, no difference emerged as a function of age in the frequency of task-relevant externalized private speech (younger M = 3.34, SD = 6.50; older M = 16.15, SD = 25.88), F(1, 7) = 1.48, ns. Older boys with ADHD relied on private speech as a mnemonic strategy at a rate similar to its use among younger symptom- free boys (see Figure 2).