Memory performance, oral comprehension and learning process between children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and children with anxiety disorder

ABSTRACT Purpose: to compare aspects of memory, learning and oral comprehension between children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and children with Anxiety Disorder (AD). Methods: thirty-two children (7-10 years) were divided into: G1 - children diagnosed with ADHD, and G2 - children diagnosed with AD. The children were not under drug treatment. The tests applied assessed working memory (phonological loop and visuospatial sketch), learning, episodic memory and oral comprehension. Results: both groups showed changes in working memory for visuospatial sketch and phonological loop (worse performance in pseudowords in the ADHD group and digit-reversed order for children with AD), and in oral comprehension. Group comparison showed a statistically significant difference regarding the most complex level of the oral comprehension test and the repetition of nonwords with three syllables. Both groups showed a suitable performance in learning ability, however, the group of children with ADHD suffered from backward interference, with no memory consolidation, showing low episodic memory performance. Conclusion: children with ADHD and anxiety disorder showed various altered cognitive skills, although group comparison revealed that children with ADHD exhibited worse cognitive performance.