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Rhonda Martinussen

Associate Professor (CSE/DPE)

MA CSE Program Chair


Office: Room 304, 45Walmer Rd.
Tel: 416-934-4504
Fax: 416-934-4500

ADHD Literacy Lab

Rhonda Martinussen


Research Interests

My research interests focus on developing a better understanding of the individual difference and contextual factors that are associated with academic achievement in children with attention and/or learning difficulties. Specifically, I am interested in a) research examining the role of cognitive (e.g., working memory) and affective (e.g. motivation) factors in learning (e.g., reading, writing) b) research examining classroom instructional practices and their impact on the development of reading and writing skills in at-risk children, and c) intervention research focusing on the improvement of reading and writing skills in children with attention problems.



  • Reading and writing difficulties
  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • working memory and executive functions
  • adaptive instruction
  • teacher knowledge and practice relating to children with special education needs

Applied/Clinical Interests

I am interested in working collaboratively with teachers to build capacity regarding the instruction of students with attention and/or learning difficulties. I am currently part of a research team that is working on two Knowledge Exchange projects. One project is examining how to use multimedia resources to support teacher professional development regarding working with students with ADHD. A second project involves working collaboratively with expert teachers to develop the curriculum for an intensive summer institute for Lead Teachers on ADHD. In addition, my research on cognition, attention, and adaptive instruction has direct implications for classroom instruction in the elementary grades.

Teaching Overview

I often teach HDP2280 which is a graduate course entitled "Introduction to Special Education and Adaptive Instruction". I often teach this course in Flex-Mode which allows students to attend in person or virtually via a webinar.

I teach the Language Arts portion of APD2200 Introduction to Curriculum I course in the Master of Arts in Child Study and Education program.

I sometimes teach courses related to executive functions or ADHD at the graduate level.

Representative Publications

Batho, L., & Martinussen, R. (in press). The effects of different types of environmental noise on academic performance and perceived task difficulty in adolescents with ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders.

Plamondon, A., & Martinussen, R. (2015). Inattention symptoms are associated with academic achievement mostly through variance shared with intrinsic motivation and behavioral engagement. Journal of Attention Disorders, 1-13. DOI: 10.1177/1087054715587098

Martinussen, R., Ferrari, J., Aitken, M., & Willows, D. (2015). Preservice teachers’ knowledge of phonemic awareness: Relationship to perceived knowledge, self-efficacy, and exposure to a multimedia-enhanced lecture. Annals of Dyslexia, 1-17. 

Gray, S., Rogers, M., Martinussen, R., & Tannock, R. (2015). Longitudinal relations among inattention, working memory, and academic achievement: Testing mediation and the moderating role of gender. Peerj 3:e939 https://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.939

Martinussen, R., & Mackenzie, G. (2015). Reading comprehension in adolescents with ADHD: Exploring the poor comprehender profile and individual differences in vocabulary and executive functions. Research in developmental disabilities, 38, 329-337.

Martinussen, R., Grimbos, T., & Ferrari, J. (2014). Word-level reading achievement and behavioral inattention: exploring their    overlap and relations with naming speed and phonemic awareness in a community sample of children. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology

Major, A., Martinussen, R., & Wiener, J. (2013). An examination of the self- efficacy for self-regulated learning beliefs of adolescents with and without ADHD. Learning and Individual Differences

Aitken, M., & Martinussen, R. (2013). Exploring predictors of performance on a curriculum-based measure of written expression. Journal of Research in Writing, 4 (3), 281-299.

Gray, S.A., Chaban, P., Martinussen, R., Goldberg, R., Gotlieb, H., Kronitz, R., Hockenberry, M., & Tannock, R. (2012).  Effects of a computerized working memory training program on working memory, attention, and academics in adolescents with severe LD and comorbid ADHD: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Martinussen, R., Chaban, P., & Tannock, R. (2011). Teachers' reported use of instructional and behavior management practices for students with behavior problems: Relationship to role and level of training in ADHD. Child and Youth Care Forum, 40, 193-219

Martinussen, R., & Major, A. (2011). Working memory weaknesses in students with ADHD: Implications for instruction. Theory into Practice, 50, 68-75.

Kirby, J.R., Georgiou, G.K. Martinussen, R., & Parrila, R. (2010). Review of research: Naming speed and reading: From prediction to instruction. Reading Research Quarterly, 45, 341-362.

Articles Under Review

Aitken, M., Martinussen, R., Tannock, R., & Wolfe, R. (accepted, pending minor revisions, pending final review). Factor structure of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in a Canadian elementary school sample. Assessment for Effective Intervention

Plamondon, A., & Martinussen, R. (under revision).  Academic achievement is associated with motivation, study skills, and engagement mostly through variance shared with inattention symptoms. Submitted to Learning and Instruction, February 28th, 2014

Research Grants and Contracts

Title: Examining the potential for digital media to bridge the gap between coursework and practicum experiences in preservice teacher preparation in literacy education.

Funded by: SSHRC
Amount of Award: $75 000
Role: Principal Investigator
Co-Investigator Dr. Dale Willows


Research Areas 

Special Education & Adaptive Instruction















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