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

Sarah A. Orban, Sara B. Festini, Erica K. Yuen, Lauren M. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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 less affected by proactive interference (g=−0.53, 95% CI [−0.75, −0.31]), whereas no significant differences were found in adults (g=0.13, 95% CI [−0.02, 0.28]). Adults and children with ADHD exhibited more retroactive interference (g=0.17, 95% CI [0.05, 0.29]) and performed worse on memory control tasks (g=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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • ADHD
  • executive function deficits
  • memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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