Smith-Spark, J. , Marchant, A. , Mearns, S. , Mckeand, L. & Zohor Rahimi, A.
London South Bank University
Cognitive failures reflect errors of memory and attention in ongoing everyday cognition. They have been self-reported as being more frequent in adults with a formal diagnosis of dyslexia (Smith-Spark et al., 2004). The current research extended this work to a larger community-based sample of adults, the majority of whom did not have formal diagnoses. It sought to determine whether i) higher levels of self-reported symptoms of reading difficulties and ii) greater self-reported symptoms of ADHD were associated with more frequent cognitive failures. Two hundred adult participants completed self-report questionnaires online. The Adult Reading Questionnaire (ARQ; Snowling et al., 2012) assessed reading skills. The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS; Kessler et al., 2005) measured ADHD symptomatology. The Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (Broadbent et al., 1982) probed the frequency of cognitive failures in the past six months. Higher self-reported problems with reading and higher self-reported levels of ADHD symptoms were found independently to be associated with higher frequencies of self-reported cognitive failures. The findings highlight the everyday impact of both reading difficulties and ADHD symptoms on non-literacy-related cognitive behaviour in adulthood and emphasize the importance of acknowledging these broader difficulties within support arrangements and reasonable adjustments in the workplace and in educational settings.