Chess Practice and Executive Functioning in a Post-Secondary Student Diagnosed with ADHD: A Single Case Study
This single-case study explored how the influence of chess practice on working memory and other executive functions was perceived by an adult diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Cognitive science has used chess in the study of memory, concentration, attention and expertise (Charness, 1992; Gobet, 1998). The game of chess has also been used in clinical and educational contexts both to enhance cognitive abilities and to change academic outcomes (Hong, 2005). The chess program I designed consisted of a weekly, one hour chess practice for ten weeks during which the participant solved chess puzzles. The selected participant underwent a semi-structured interview pre- and post- the chess intervention and answered the Barkley Adult ADHD Rating Scale (BAARS-IV) and the Barkley Deficit in Executive Function Scale (BDEFS) at the beginning and end of the chess program. Furthermore, the participant answered opened-ended questions about her perceptions of the effects of the chess program after each of eight training sessions. Thematic analysis was performed in an inductive search for general descriptors within the data. The chess training intervention resulted in the participant’s perception of an overall decrease in ADHD symptoms, especially inattentiveness, and improvement in working memory and other executive functions. Implications for further research and practice are identified.
ADHD, Chess, Executive functioning, Single Case Study
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
Educational Psychology and Special Education
School and Counselling Psychology