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  • Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, Volume 20, Issue 4
  • December 2011, pp. 311-315

Language disturbances in ADHD

  • M. Bellani (a1), A. Moretti (a2) (a3), C. Perlini (a1) and P. Brambilla (a4) (a5)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 August 2011

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.

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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:;
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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

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

DVM Bishop , G Baird (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.

S Camarata , T Gibson (1999). Pragmatic language deficits in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews 5, 207214.

NJ Cohen , DD Vallance , M Barwick , N Im , R Menna , NB Horodezky , L Isaacson (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.

HM Geurts , M Embrechts (2008). Language profiles in ASD, SLI, and ADHD. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 38, 19311943.

S Jonsdottir , A Bouma , JA Sergeant , EJA Scherder (2005). The impact of specific language impairment on working memory in children with ADHD combined subtype. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 20, 443456.

OH Kim , AP Kaiser (2000). Language characteristics of children with ADHD. Communication Disorders Quarterly 21, 154165.

R Martinussen , R Tannock (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.

ME Mathers (2006). Aspects of language in children with ADHD. Applying functional analyses to explore language use. Journal of Attention Disorders 9, 523533.

A McInnes , T Humphries , S Hogg-Johnson , R Tannock (2003). Listening comprehension and working memory are impaired in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder irrespective of language impairment. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 31, 427443.

J Oram , J Fine , C Okamoto , R Tannock (1999). Assessing the language of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 8, 7280.

A Tavano , S Sponda , F Fabbro , C Perlini , G Rambaldelli , A Ferro , S Cerruti , M Tansella , P Brambilla (2008). Specific linguistic and pragmatic deficits in Italian patients with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 102, 5362.

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