Background music, ADHD, Executive function performance, Neurotypical, Classroom study

Document Type

Research Paper


The purpose of the proposed study is to determine how children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperac­tivity Disorder (ADHD) and neurotypical children will perform on executive function tasks while listening and not listening to music in a classroom setting. Prior research suggests that the presence of background noise improves the executive function performance of children with ADHD during specific memory tasks. In this study, fifty children diagnosed with ADHD and fifty neurotyp­ical children from Bellingham, Washington will take the Working Memory Test Battery for Children (Picker­ing, 2006), either with or without classical music play­ing in the background. Scores will be calculated, and an inferential statistical test will be run to identify any statistical significance between the mean scores of the two populations (ADHD vs. neurotypical), the two situations (music vs. no music), and the four differ­ent conditions (A, B, C, D). It is hypothesized that low-level music will produce improvements in the ex­ecutive function of children with ADHD, allowing them to outperform neurotypical children under the same conditions. However, in the absence of music, it is predicted that neurotypical children will perform better on the tests than children with ADHD. Lim­itations of this research include potential inconsisten­cy or bias in the clinical diagnoses of ADHD and the removal of comorbidities from the scope of the study.




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