Assessing working memory in general education students for ADHD detection




Working memory assessment; Greek-WMRS; ADHD; General education students.


The involvement of deficient working memory in ADHD symptomatology has attracted intense research interest and has been scientifically substantiated. This fact provided an impetus for this study, which aims to investigate the role of working memory assessment in detecting ADHD elements in general education students in classroom settings. Therefore, 67 classroom teachers rated 130 Greek general education primary school students on the Greek-WMRS. The research findings indicated statistically significant differences in the overall score of the Greek-WMRS and in the separate score of its 20 descriptions of classroom behaviors between children clinically diagnosed with ADHD and those without. In conclusion, students’ working memory assessment in classroom settings can significantly contribute to detection of ADHD behaviors so that such classroom behaviors to be extensively assessed for an effective diagnosis.  

Author Biographies

Effrosyni Angelopoulou, N.C.S.R. "Demokritos"

Effrosyni Angelopoulou is a research associate at N.C.S.R. “Demokritos”, ΙΙΤ- Net Media Lab & Mind - Brain R&D, Agia Paraskevi, 153 10, Athens, Greece

Zoi Karabatzaki, N.C.S.R. "Demokritos"

Zoi Karabatzaki is a research associate at N.C.S.R. “Demokritos”, ΙΙΤ- Net Media Lab & Mind - Brain R&D, Agia Paraskevi, 153 10, Athens, Greece


Alexopoulou, A., Batsou, A. & Drigas, A. S. (2019). Effectiveness of Assessment, Diagnostic and Intervention ICT Tools for Children and Adolescents with ADHD. International Journal of Recent Contributions from Engineering, Science & IT (iJES), 7(3), 51-63.

Alloway, T. P., Gathercole, S. E., & Kirkwood, H. J. (2016). Κλίμακα Αξιολόγησης Εργαζόμενης Μνήμης: Εγχειρίδιο (ελληνική έκδοση). Αθήνα: Μοτίβο Αξιολόγηση.

Alloway, T. P., Gathercole, S. E., Kirkwood, H. & Elliott, J. (2009). The working memory rating scale: A classroom-based behavioral assessment of working memory. Learning and Individual Differences, 19(2), 242–245.

Alloway, T. P., Gathercole, S. E., & Kirkwood, H. J. (2008). Working Memory Rating Scale. London: Pearson Assessment.

Altman, D. G., & Bland, J. M. (2005). Standard deviations and standard errors. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 331(7521), 903.

American Psychiatric Association (APA) (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Angelopoulou, E., & Drigas, A. (2021). Working memory, attention and their relationship: A theoretical overview. Research, Society and Development, 10(5), e46410515288.

Angelopoulou, E., Karabatzaki, Z., & Drigas, A. (2021). The role of working memory and attention in older workers’ learning. International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning (iJAC), 14(1), 4-14. https://10.3991/ijac.v14i1.20355

Apuke, O.D., (2017). Quantitative Research Methods: A Synopsis Approach. Kuwait Chapter of Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review 6(11), 40-47.

Aromataris, E. & Pearson, A. (2014). The systematic review: An Overview. American Journal of Nursing, 114(3), 53-58. 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000444496.24228.2c

Baddeley, A. (1992). Working memory. Science, 255(5044), 556-559.

Baddeley, A. (2010). Working memory. Current Biology, 20(4), R136-R140.

Baddeley, A. D., & Logie, R. H. (1999). Working memory: The multiple-component model. In A. Miyake & P. Shah (Eds.), Models of working memory: Mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control (pp. 28–61). Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139174909.005

Barkley, R. A. (2017). What Causes ADHD? Updated August 2020.

Casey, B. J., Tottenham, N., & Fossella, J. (2002). Clinical, imaging, lesion, and genetic approaches toward a model of cognitive control. Developmental psychobiology, 40(3), 237–254.

Casey, B. J., Cannonier, T., Conley, M. I., Cohen, A. O., Barch, D. M., Heitzeg, M. M., Soules, M. E., Teslovich, T., Dellarco, D. V., Garavan, H., Orr, C. A., Wager, T. D., Banich, M. T., Speer, N. K., Sutherland, M. T., Riedel, M. C., Dick, A. S., Bjork, J. M., Thomas, K. M., et al. ABCD Imaging Acquisition Workgroup. (2018). The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study: Imaging acquisition across 21 sites. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 32, 43–54.

Chalmers, K. A. & Freeman, E. E. (2018). A comparison of single and multi-test working memory assessments in predicting academic achievement in ahildren. The Journal of Psychology, 152(8), 613-629.

Chalmers, K. A. & Freeman, E. E. (2019). Working Memory Power Test for Children. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 37, 105-111.

Chaplin, E., & Mccarthy, J. (2018). Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). In C. Hemmings, (Ed.), Mental Health in Intellectual Disabilities, 5th edition, 87-96. Pavilion.

Cronbach, L. J. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika, 16, 297-334.

Dehn, M. J. (2008). Working memory and academic learning: Assessment and intervention. John Wiley & Sons.

Dovis, S., Van der Oord, S., Wiers, R.W., & Prins, P. J. (2013). What part of working memory is not working in ADHD? Short-term memory, the central executive and effects of reinforcement. Journal of abnormal child psychology, 41(6), 901–917.

Drigas, A. S. & Ioannidou, R. Ε. (2013). Special Education and ICTs. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), 8(2), 41-47.

Durston, S., & Casey, B. J. (2006). What have we learned about cognitive development from neuroimaging? Neuropsychologia, 44(11), 2149–2157.

Εμβαλωτής, Α., Κατσής, Α. & Σιδερίδης, Γ. (2006). Στατιστική Μεθοδολογία Εκπαιδευτικής Έρευνας. Ιωάννινα: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων.

Engle, R.W. (2010). Role of Working‐Memory Capacity in Cognitive Control. Current Anthropology, 51(S1), S17-S26.

Engle, R. W. (2001). What is working memory capacity? In H. L. Roediger III, J.S. Nairne, I. Neath, & A. M. Surprenant (Eds.), The nature of remembering: Essays in honor of Robert G. Crowder (pp. 297–314). American Psychological Association.

Fosco, W. D., Kofler, M. J., Groves, N. B., Chan, E. S. M. & Raiker Jr, J. S. (2020). Which ‘working’ components of working memory aren’t working in youth with ADHD? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 48, 647–660. 10.1007/s10802-020-00621-y

Fried, R., Chan, J., Feinberg, L., Pope, A., Woodworth, K.Y., Faraone, S.V. & Biederman, J. (2016). Clinical correlates of working memory deficits in youth with and without ADHD: A controlled study. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 38(5), 487-496. https://10.1080/13803395.2015.1127896

Gathercole, S. (2008a). Working memory in the classroom. President’s award, 21(5), 382-385. Updated July 2021.

Gathercole, S. E. (2008b). Working Memory. In J. Byrne (Ed.), Learning and Memory: A Comprehensive Reference, 2, 1st Edition, 33–51. Oxford: Academic Press.

Howitt, D., & Cramer, D. (2017). Understanding Statistics in Psychology with SPSS, Seventh Edition. Pearson.

Kane, M. J., Conway, A. R. A., Miura, T. K., & Colflesh, G. J. H. (2007). Working memory, attention control, and the n-back task: A question of construct validity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 33, 615-622.

Kim, T. K. (2015). T test as a parametric statistic. Korean journal of anesthesiology, 68(6), 540–546.

Kim, Y., & Chang, H. (2011). Correlation between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sugar consumption, quality of diet, and dietary behavior in school children. Nutrition Research and Practice, 5(3), 236-245.

Kofler, M. J., Rapport, M. D., Bolden, J., Sarver, D. E. & Raiker, J. S. (2010). ADHD and Working Memory: The Impact of Central Executive Deficits and Exceeding Storage/Rehearsal Capacity on Observed Inattentive Behavior. J Abnorm Child Psychol, 38, 149–161.

London, A. S., & Landes, S. D. (2021). Cohort change in the prevalence of ADHD among U.S. adults: Evidence of a gender-specific historical period effect. Journal of Attention Disorders, 25(6), 771 –782.

Luna B. (2009). Developmental changes in cognitive control through adolescence. Advances in child development and behavior, 37, 233–278.

Mathy, F., Chekaf, M., & Cowan, N. (2018). Simple and Complex Working Memory Tasks Allow Similar Benefits of Information Compression. Journal of Cognition, 1(1): 31, 1–12.

Miyake, A., & Friedman, N. P. (2012). The nature and organization of individual differences in executive functions: Four general conclusions. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21, 8–14.

Molina, B. S. G., & Pelham, W. E., Jr. (2014). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and risk of substance use disorder: developmental considerations, potential pathways, and opportunities for research. Annual review of clinical psychology, 10, 607–639.

Mondal, H., & Mondal, S. (2017). Statistical Significance is Prerequisite in Study. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research. JCDR, 11(9), CL01.

Nadler, R. T., & Archibald, L. M. D. (2014). The assessment of verbal and visuospatial workingm with school age Canadian children. Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 38(3), 262–279.

Nigg, J. T., & Barkley, R. A. (2014). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In E. J. Mash & R. A. Barkley (Eds.), Child psychopathology, 75–144. The Guilford Press.

Oberauer, K., Farrell, S., Jarrold, C., & Lewandowsky, S. (2016). What limits working memory capacity? Psychological bulletin, 142(7), 758–799.

Owen, A. M., McMillan, K. M., Laird, A. R., & Bullmore, E. (2005). N-back working memory paradigm: A meta-analysis of normative functional neuroimaging studies. Human Brain Mapping, 25, 46–59.

Pickering, S. J. (2006). Assessment of working memory in children. In S.J. Pickering (Ed.), Working memory and education (pp. 241–271). Burlington, MA: Academic Press.

Schmid, J., Stadler, G., Dirk, J., Fiege, C. & Gawrilow, C. (2016). ADHD Symptoms in Adolescents’ Everyday Life: Fluctuations and Symptom Structure Within and Between Individuals. Journal of Attention Disorders, 1-12.

Snyder, H. (2019). Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines. Journal of business research, 104, 333-339.

Thiele, A. & Bellgrove, M. A. (2018). Neuromodulation of Attention. Neuron, 97(4), 769–785.

Tillman, C., Eninger, L., Forssman, L. & Bohlin, G. (2011). The Relation between working memory components and ADHD symptoms from a developmental perspective. Developmental Neuropsychology, 36(2), 181-198.

Tsal, Y., Shalev, L., & Mevorach, C. (2005). The Diversity of Attention Deficits in ADHD: The prevalence of four cognitive factors in ADHD versus controls. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38(2), 142–157.

Unsworth, N., & Engle, R. W. (2007). The nature of individual differences in working memory capacity: Active maintenance in primary memory and controlled search from secondary memory. Psychological Review 114(1), 104-132.

Unsworth, N. , Redick, T.S., Heitz, R. P., Broadway, J. M., & Engle, R. W. (2009). Complex working memory span tasks and higher-order cognition: A latent-variable analysis of the relationship between processing and storage. Memory, 17(6), 635-654.

Vaske, J. J., Beaman, J., & Sponarski, C. C. (2017). Rethinking Internal Consistency in Cronbach's Alpha. Leisure Sciences, 39(2), 163-173.

Wagner, A. D. (2002). Cognitive control and episodic memory: Contributions from prefrontal cortex. In L.R. Squire & D.L. Schacter (Eds.), Neuropsychology of memory (pp. 174–192). The Guilford Press.

Zavitsanou, A., & Drigas, A. (2021). Attention and working memory. International Journal of Recent Contributions from Engineering Science & IT (iJES), 9(1), 81-91.




How to Cite

ANGELOPOULOU, E.; KARABATZAKI, Z.; DRIGAS, A. Assessing working memory in general education students for ADHD detection. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 10, n. 10, p. e138101018766, 2021. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v10i10.18766. Disponível em: Acesso em: 23 feb. 2024.



Education Sciences