Verbal Memory Interference in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Review

  • Sarah A. Orban (Creator)
  • Sara B. Festini (Creator)
  • Erica K. Yuen (Creator)
  • Lauren Friedman (Creator)



Objective:Interference control is used to overcome conflict among competing memory representations and may contribute to memory difficulties in ADHD. This meta-analytic review examined memory interference to evaluate susceptibility to proactive, retroactive, and memory control interference among those with ADHD.Method:Twenty studies (1987–2019) examining verbal memory interference in ADHD met inclusion criteria (age: 8–36 years). Proactive and retroactive interference indices were extracted from list-learning tasks, and memory control indices were extracted from experimental paradigms (e.g., directed-forgetting).Results:Children with ADHD were <i>less</i> affected by proactive interference (<i>g</i>=−0.53, 95% CI [−0.75, −0.31]), whereas no significant differences were found in adults (<i>g</i>=0.13, 95% CI [−0.02, 0.28]). Adults and children with ADHD exhibited <i>more</i> retroactive interference (<i>g</i>=0.17, 95% CI [0.05, 0.29]) and performed worse on memory control tasks (<i>g</i>=0.35, 95% CI [0.08, 0.62]) relative to controls.Conclusion:Differences in verbal memory interference control in ADHD were observed but effects were different depending upon interference type and participant age.
Date made available2022
PublisherSAGE Journals

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