Background: Higher-education students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often face difficulties in self-regulation of learning (SRL). Studies of typical students have shown that SRL is less effective for digitally displayed texts. The current study investigated the influence of the media (digital, print) on reading comprehension and self-monitoring (a component of SRL) in higher-education students with and without ADHD. Methods: Forty-five students with ADHD and 61 matched controls read an expository text displayed digitally or in print. Then, they predicted their performance score and answered comprehension questions. Sustained attention and set-shifting abilities were also assessed. Results: In the digital condition, students with ADHD had significantly lower comprehension scores and were overconfident in their predictions of success relative to controls. In the print condition, the ADHD group spent more time reading the text, but their predictions of performance and comprehension scores were comparable to those of the control group. Poor sustained attention was significantly correlated with lower comprehension scores in both media conditions, whereas set-shifting correlated only with comprehension of the printed text. Conclusions: Understanding a digitally displayed text is more challenging for students with ADHD than their peers, particularly when the conditions of the comprehension task favor good SRL skills.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Open University's research fund to G.B. (no. 37143 ). We wish to thank Inbal Ravreby, Yael Gilutz and Orly Azulai for their assistance with data collection and analysis.
- Digital media
- Executive functions
- Reading comprehension
- Self-regulation of learning
- Sustained attention