Free-recall retrieval practice tasks for students with ADHD: whole-text versus section recall

Pnina Stern, Vered Halamish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The present study examined the relative effectiveness of two free-recall-based retrieval practice methods for text learning among students with ADHD. Method: Participants with and without ADHD read texts and practiced them by freely recalling the information either after reading each section or after reading the whole text. Two days later, participants completed a free-recall criterion test on the texts. Results: The results suggested that although more idea units were recalled during practice in the section recall condition than in the whole-text recall condition, the whole-text recall condition outperformed the section recall condition on the criterion test in terms of the proportion of idea units recalled, although neither retrieval practice conditions outperformed restudying. These findings were obtained for both groups. Exploratory analyses further demonstrated a benefit of the whole-text over section recall also in terms of the order in which idea unites were recalled and suggested that the recall of ADHD participants was less well ordered compared with participants without ADHD. Discussion: Based on these findings, when using retrieval practice, whole-text free-recall can be recommended for students with ADHD, along with implementing strategies to enhance the mental organization of the studied materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1301726
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Stern and Halamish.


  • ADHD
  • free recall
  • recall order
  • retrieval practice
  • section recall
  • whole-text recall


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