Zeigarnik effect refers to the phenomenon whereby "people will recall interrupted tasks much better than completed ones." The present study explored the relationship between Zeigarnik effect and self esteem in 48 adolescents and young adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). Only participants "high" in self esteem exhibited the selective recall pattern. It was hypothesized that interrupted activities were viewed as failures. It was assumed that the recall of failures was particularly threatening to "low" self-esteem participants, resulting in selective forgetting or selective storage of solutions. The findings are discussed in the context of the current cognitive-motivational theories for ID.