Episodic memory and suggestibility in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Grant

Episodic memory and suggestibility in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder .


  • Episodic (i.e., event) memory and suggestibility (i.e., the extent to which memory and reporting of events can be influenced by cognitive and social factors) are critical to the accurate reporting of past events. The proposed project represents thefirst study to address the extent to which children's ability to provide accurate and detailed accounts of rich, personally-experienced events when interviewed is altered among children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The aims of the proposed research are (1) to compare the episodic memory and suggestibility of ADHD children and typically-developing (TD) children of the same age, and (2) to investigate the cognitive processes underlying ADHD children's episodic memory and suggestibility. There are theoretical and practical reasons to address these aims. Theoretically, we know virtually nothing about children with ADHD's event memory or their suggestibility, yet core deficit processes in ADHD (working memory and inhibitory control) suggest that differences between ADHD and TD children will emerge. Practically, research demonstrates that children with ADHD are at greater risk for child maltreatment and exposure to stressful family environments than their TD peers. Furthermore, educators, medical practitioners, and professionals investigating child abuse will benefit from a more complete understanding of ADHD children's cognitive and memory characteristics because all need to question children appropriately in order to intervene effectively. To advance theory and address these practical concerns, the proposed research will examine the episodic memory and suggestibility of 60 7- to 8-year-old ADHD and TD children. Based on well-standardized procedures, children will experience a rich, interactive event (a safety skills demonstration) and be interviewed following a 1-week delay using an empirically-based investigative interview protocol designed for children. Detailed coding of children's interviews wil allow us to examine multiple aspects of episodic memory and suggestibility (e.g., amount, accuracy, and coherence of reports; susceptibility to suggestive questions). Working memory and inhibitory control measures will be included to test potential cognitive mechanisms underlying differences between ADHD and TD children. Laboratory analogue studies examining children's memory and suggestibility for objectively- verifiable events are crucial because they allow for the examination of accuracy and completeness and are thus uniquely important for individuals who question children in legal and medical contexts where accuracy is critical.

date/time interval

  • April 10, 2014 - August 31, 2017

sponsor award ID

  • 1R03HD077161-01A1



  • 8 year old
  • Accounting
  • Address
  • Adult
  • Age
  • Area
  • Attention
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Characteristics
  • Child
  • Child Abuse
  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Child Development
  • Code
  • Cognitive
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Development
  • Disease
  • analog
  • base
  • design
  • disability