We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK


93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Reading and listening comprehension and their r...
View graph of relations

« Back

Reading and listening comprehension and their relation to inattention and hyperactivity

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date03/2014
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
Number of pages17
Early online date6/02/13
Original languageEnglish


Background: Children with diagnoses of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) frequently have reading problems. To date, it is not clear whether poor reading is associated with both inattention and hyperactivity and also whether poor reading comprehension is the result of poor word reading skills or more general language comprehension weaknesses.

Aims: We report two studies to examine how reading and listening comprehension skills are related to inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity.

Samples: Separate groups of 7- to 11-year-olds participated in each study.

Methods: In both studies, we used teacher ratings of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity to identify three groups at risk of ADHD: poor attention, high hyperactivity, poor attention and high hyperactivity, and also same-age controls. In Study 1, we explored how inattention and hyperactivity predicted reading after controlling for non-verbal IQ and vocabulary. In Study 2, we compared listening and reading comprehension in these groups.

Results: Poor attention was related to poor reading comprehension, although the relation was partially mediated by word reading skill (Study 1). Groups with high hyperactivity had weak listening comprehension relative to reading comprehension (Study 2).

Conclusions: These results indicate that the reading comprehension problems of children with attention difficulties are related to poor word reading and that listening comprehension is particularly vulnerable in children at risk of ADHD.

Bibliographic note

This is a pre-print of an article published in British Journal of Educational Psychology, 84 (1), 2014. (c) Wiley.