Working Memory and Distraction: Performance Differences between College Students with and without ADHD


The goal of this study was to examine potential deficits in working memory capacity for college students that had a diagnosis of ADHD. College students with ADHD may be a particularly vulnerable group of individuals, given that success on academic work required focus and working memory for a variety of problem solving activities. Performance on these assessments involved controlled processing with simultaneous memory load. Both verbal and visual complex span tasks were used to assess working memory. Additionally, students were all administered with the Brown ADD scale in order to examine self-reported issues with distractibility. Results revealed that ADHD students performed significantly lower on the verbal complex span measure of working memory. No differences in reported inattentiveness were found. Findings were discussed in context of varying task demands in working memory and executive function measures.

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Payne, T. & Steege, N. (2013). Working Memory and Distraction: Performance Differences between College Students with and without ADHD. Creative Education, 4, 37-41. doi: 10.4236/ce.2013.47A2007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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