Evidence for unexpected weaknesses in learning in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder without reading disabilities

Laurie E. Cutting, Christine W. Koth, E. Mark Mahone, Martha B. Denckla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examined the mechanisms underlying verbal learning in children with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), none of whom had reading disabilities. Children with ADHD were compared to typically developing children on both process and product scores from the California Verbal Learning Test for Children. The findings indicated that children with ADHD initially learned the same number of words as controls but showed weaknesses recalling the words after delays, suggesting that children with ADHD are less efficient learners. Regardless of ADHD status, boys and girls performed differently. Boys used semantic clustering less frequently and recalled fewer words from the middle region of the list than girls; girls also outperformed boys in terms of overall performance, despite lower verbal IQ scores. These findings show that children with ADHD can exhibit unexpected weaknesses in learning even without a formal learning disability. Gender differences in verbal learning are also illustrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-269
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of learning disabilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Health Professions(all)

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