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A systematic review and meta-analysis of narrative language abilities in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

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DOI

While children with ADHD are reported to have language problems, it is less clear if their ability to use language to tell a story (i.e., form a narrative) is impaired. Therefore, a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies examining the oral production of fictional stories in children with ADHD was conducted. Databases were systematically searched in January 2019 and December 2020 (follow-up). Studies comparing children (≤ 18 years) with ADHD to a control group of typically developing children were included. The meta-analysis adhered to PRISMA guidelines and was preregistered with PROSPERO [CRD42019122040]. Sixteen studies were retained. Results indicated that compared to typically developing children, children with ADHD produced less coherent narratives (Hedges’ g = 0.58 p <.001), gave more ambiguous references (Hedges’ g = 0.52, p <.001), made more disruptive errors (Hedges’ g = 0.41, p <.001), and produced language that was less syntactically complex (Hedges’ g = 0.39, p <.05). Children with ADHD also produced less language overall (Hedges’ g = 0.27, p <.05), although this result appeared to be an artefact of publication bias. Two studies investigated internal state language and both found children with ADHD to produce narratives with less internal state language. Children with ADHD did not produce less fluent narratives (Hedges’ g = 0.23, p =.47), although a scarcity of studies [K = 4] preclude firm conclusions. In conclusion, children with ADHD were impaired in several areas of oral narrative production and screening for narrative language problems should be considered when assessing language and communicative abilities in children with ADHD.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftResearch on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
Vol/bind50
Sider (fra-til)737-751
Antal sider15
ISSN2730-7166
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2022

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© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

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