The present study explored whether poor executive functions (EF) underlying the difficulties of individuals with ADHD in reading comprehension (RC) are general or specific to the textual content they regulate. To address this question, adolescents with and without ADHD answered questions following the reading of texts and completed a series of tasks that assessed cognitive flexibility, updating and inhibition skills, using (a) non-verbal items, to assess a domain-general EF, (b) single written words, to assess verbal-specific EF, and (c) illustrated scenarios, to assess discourse-specific EF. Findings demonstrated that verbal and/or discourse measurements exhibited significant mediating effects beyond the contribution made by non-verbal measurements. When EF measurements of the same modality were computed as a single composite score, only the discourse measurement accounted for a significant mediating contribution. These findings suggest a domain-specific, or even a discourse-specific role of EF in RC of adolescents with ADHD, and bear implications for educational practice.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.