Exploring the relationship between working memory deficits and reading difficulties
This study explored the relationship between working memory (WM) deficits and reading difficulties using secondary data analysis on data collected from 63 English speaking students in two urban school divisions in Saskatchewan participating in a larger SSHRC funded study (Marche, McIntyre, Claypool, 2013). First, this study addressed whether the WM profiles of individuals with reading difficulties were different from those of individuals without reading difficulties. The results showed that individuals with reading difficulties scored lower than individuals with average reading ability on measures of verbal short-term memory (STM), verbal WM, and visuospatial WM. Second, this study looked at the differential effects of computer-based WM training on the WM profiles of children with and without reading difficulties. The results showed that after WM training, there was a difference between the visuospatial STM scores of individuals with and without difficulties, when reading ability was determined by the combination of a decoding and comprehension task. Furthermore, a difference was also noted between the visuospatial WM scores of individuals with and without word decoding difficulties, and the visuospatial STM, verbal WM, and visuospatial WM scores of individuals with and without reading comprehension difficulties. Additionally, the verbal STM scores of individuals with reading comprehension difficulties were marginally different than the scores of individuals without. No differences were found between individuals who did not participate in WM training. The limitations of the study, as well as the implications for practice and future research, are discussed.
Working Memory Reading Difficulties
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
Educational Psychology and Special Education
School and Counselling Psychology