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Improved Reasoning in Children with ADHD after Strategic Memory and Reasoning Training: A Novel Intervention for Strategic Learning Impairment

Angry/mad children/kids/youths/youth are fighting.

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society

J.F. Gamino, S.B. Chapman, J. Hart and S.B. Vanegas

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Existing research on children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) largely involves interventions that address behavioral issues and medication efficacy, and these methods have produced evidence of improvements to attention, inhibition and general behavioral concerns. However, these interventions don’t address the learning process specifically, and little research thus far has focused on the role of cognitive interventions for children with ADHD. This study aimed to address that void, focusing specifically on children’s ability to formulate the “gist” of information, which is a process that employs reason and critical thinking in order to strategically select and synthesize concepts. This reasoning ability is referred to in the study as “strategic learning.” Based on the findings from a previous study, where it was demonstrated that children with ADHD show significantly impaired strategic reasoning ability compared to typically developing children, researchers developed a learning program designed specifically to remediate these learning deficits. The Strategic Memory and Reasoning Tactics, or SMART™, program was utilized in this study for 40 children with ADHD, between the ages of 8 to 15. SMART training was administered to half of the participants, while the other half were administered behavioral intervention (control group). Researchers found that after fourteen 45-minute training sessions, strategic learning performance showed significant improvements, whereas the performance of the control group did not. The results of this study demonstrate evidence for the clinical application of cognitive interventions for children with impaired reasoning ability.

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Jacquelyn Gamino, PhD

Director of Adolescent Reasoning Initiative Assistant Research Professor

Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD

Chief Director Dee Wyly Distinguished Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Co-Leader, The BrainHealth Project


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