Skip to main content Accessibility help

Language disturbances in ADHD

  • M. Bellani (a1), A. Moretti (a2) (a3), C. Perlini (a1) and P. Brambilla (a4) (a5)

This article aims to review the studies exploring language abilities in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; with or without comorbid language impairment) focusing on oral speech discrimination, listening comprehension, verbal and spatial working memory as well as on discourse analysis and pragmatic aspects of communication and language comprehension.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Language disturbances in ADHD
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Language disturbances in ADHD
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Language disturbances in ADHD
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: Dr M. Bellani, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Section of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, University of Verona, Piazzale L.A. Scuro 10, 37134 Verona, Italy. Fax: +39,-045-8027498 (Email:;
Hide All

This Section of Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences regularly appears in each issue of the Journal to describe relevant studies investigating the relationship between neurobiology and psychosocial psychiatry in major psychoses. The aim of these Editorials is to provide a better understanding of the neural basis of psychopathology and clinical features of these disorders, in order to raise new perspectives in every-day clinical practice.

Paolo Brambilla, Section Editor and Michele Tansella, Editors EPS

Hide All
APA, American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV-TR, 4th ed.Text Revised, APA, Washington, DC.
Baker, L, Cantwell, D (1992). Attention deficit disorder and speech/language disorders. Comprehensive Mental Health Care 2, 316.
Bellani, M, Perlini, C, Brambilla, P (2009). Language disturbances in schizophrenia. Epidemiologia e Psichiatria Sociale 18, 314317.
Bellani, M, Dusi, N, Brambilla, P (2010). Longitudinal imaging studies in schizophrenia: the relationship between brain morphology and outcome measures. Epidemiologia e Psichiatria Sociale 19, 207–10.
Bishop, DVM, Baird, G (2001). Parent and teacher report of pragmatic aspects of communication: use of the Children's Communication Checklist in a clinical setting. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 43, 809818.
Camarata, S, Gibson, T (1999). Pragmatic language deficits in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews 5, 207214.
Cohen, NJ, Vallance, DD, Barwick, M, Im, N, Menna, R, Horodezky, NB, Isaacson, L (2000). The interface between ADHD and language impairment: an examination of language, achievement, and cognitive processing. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 41, 353362.
Geurts, HM, Embrechts, M (2008). Language profiles in ASD, SLI, and ADHD. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 38, 19311943.
Jonsdottir, S, Bouma, A, Sergeant, JA, Scherder, EJA (2005). The impact of specific language impairment on working memory in children with ADHD combined subtype. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 20, 443456.
Kim, OH, Kaiser, AP (2000). Language characteristics of children with ADHD. Communication Disorders Quarterly 21, 154165.
Martinussen, R, Tannock, R (2006). Working memory impairments in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder with and without comorbid language learning disorder. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 28, 10731094.
Mathers, ME (2006). Aspects of language in children with ADHD. Applying functional analyses to explore language use. Journal of Attention Disorders 9, 523533.
McInnes, A, Humphries, T, Hogg-Johnson, S, Tannock, R (2003). Listening comprehension and working memory are impaired in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder irrespective of language impairment. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 31, 427443.
Oram, J, Fine, J, Okamoto, C, Tannock, R (1999). Assessing the language of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 8, 7280.
Tavano, A, Sponda, S, Fabbro, F, Perlini, C, Rambaldelli, G, Ferro, A, Cerruti, S, Tansella, M, Brambilla, P (2008). Specific linguistic and pragmatic deficits in Italian patients with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 102, 5362.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences
  • ISSN: 2045-7960
  • EISSN: 2045-7979
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-psychiatric-sciences
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed