Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Evaluating Reading and Metacognitive Deficits in Children and Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Evaluating Reading and Metacognitive Deficits in Children and Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Article excerpt

The reading achievement of children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has scarcely been explored in research conducted in the Spanish language and when it has, the results have been contradictory. The focus of the present research is to analyze participants' reading competency and metacognitive strategies as they carry out reading comprehension tasks. The sample was comprised of 187 Argentine schoolchildren aged 9 to 13 years old. 94 constituted the control group and the clinical group consisted of 93 schoolchildren diagnosed with ADHD. The metacognitive assessment was made up of two metacognitive tests, the Reading Awareness Scale (ESCOLA; acronym in Spanish) and a Spanish adaptation of Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies Inventory (MARSI), and one test of reading comprehension, the Evaluation of Reading Processes for Secondary Education Students (PROLEC-SE; acronym in Spanish). Students with ADHD had lower achievement on tests of reading comprehension compared to the control group. Nevertheless, our results suggest their difficulties did not stem from reading comprehension problems, but rather from alterations in their Executive Functions, because when subjects' reading comprehension was equalized, students with ADHD still exhibited a lower level of Metacognition, particularly when it came to planning.

Keywords: ADHD, reading disabilities, metacognition.

El rendimiento lector en relación con la metacognición en niños y adolescentes con trastorno por déficit de atención con hiperactividad (TDAH) ha sido escasamente explorado en el ámbito de habla hispana, y en aquellos casos que lo han abordado, los resultados son contradictorios. La presente investigación analiza las competencias y uso de estrategias metacognitivas durante la realización de tareas de comprensión lectora. La muestra estuvo compuesta por 187 escolares argentinos de edades comprendidas entre los 9 y los 13 años; 94 de ellos constituyeron el grupo control y otros 93 el grupo clínico formado por escolares diagnosticados con TDAH. La evaluación metacognitiva se realizó utilizando la escala de conciencia lectora (ESCOLA) y una adaptación al español del metacognitive awareness of reading strategies inventory (MARSI). Adicionalmente, para conocer el nivel de comprensión lectora se administraron varios textos seleccionados de la prueba de evaluación de procesos lectores (PROLEC-SE). Los TDAH mostraron un rendimiento inferior en los tests de comprensión lectora en comparación con el grupo control; no obstante, nuestros resultados sugieren que sus dificultades no se explican tanto como un problema de comprensión lectora sino como una alteración en su función ejecutiva, puesto que, igualando a los sujetos en comprensión lectora, los TDAH siguen mostrando un nivel inferior de metacognición, particularmente en lo que se refiere a los procesos de planificación.

Palabras clave: TDAH, déficit lector, metacognición.

The purpose of the present study is to examine the cognitive functioning of patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in order to discover the impact of the executive functions on metacomprehension. Our primary hypothesis is that those with ADHD will perform worse on tests of metacomprehension since they must invest more cognitive resources to recognize words with exactitude and ease.

ADHD is among the most polemic and widely debated syndromes in the area of special education (Cardo & Servera, 2003). ADHD is a condition in which children and adolescents exhibit a variety of inappropriate behaviors such as hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention that combine differently in each, individual case, giving way to different diagnostic sub-types (see DSM-IV, 1995 and DSM-IV-TR, 2000).

Between 3 and 7% of school-age children (APA, 2002; Cardo, Servera & Llobera, 2007) are believed to suffer from ADHD, although attempts to determine its rate are hindered by several factors: variations in the way diagnostic criteria are clinically classified (Maldonado, Trianes, Cortés, Moreno & Escobar, 2009), the methods of diagnostic evaluation used, the source of information (parent, guardian, teacher), the type of sample (clinical or general population) and demographic and sociocultural characteristics (such a sex, age, maturity level, socioeconomic status, etc. …

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