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Clin Psychol Rev. 2012 Nov;32(7):605-17. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2012.07.001. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

Moderators of working memory deficits in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a meta-analytic review.

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Oklahoma State University, Department of Psychology, 116 N. Murray, Stillwater, OK 74078-3064, USA.


Working memory has assumed a prominent role as a primary neurocognitive deficit or endophenotype in extant models of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The current study updated previous reviews and employed meta-analytic techniques to examine a broad range of moderating variables of effect size heterogeneity across phonological and visuospatial working memory tasks. Collectively, results revealed large between-group effect sizes across both working memory domains. In addition, several sample (percent female) and task (number of experimental trials, recall vs. recognition tasks, and demands on the central executive) moderating variables explained significant effect size variability among phonological and visuospatial studies. These findings suggest that children with ADHD exhibit statistically significant, large magnitude working memory deficits relative to their typically developing peers.

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