Relationship of Word- and Sentence-Level Working Memory to Reading and Writing in Second, Fourth, and Sixth Grade PurposeThe purpose of this study was to evaluate the contribution of working memory at the word and sentence levels of language to reading and writing outcomes.MethodMeasures of working memory at the word and sentence levels, reading and writing, were administered to 2nd (N = 122), 4th (N = 222), and ... Article
Article  |   April 2010
Relationship of Word- and Sentence-Level Working Memory to Reading and Writing in Second, Fourth, and Sixth Grade
 
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Virginia W. Berninger, 322 Miller, Box 353600, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-3600. E-mail: vwb@u.washington.edu.
  • © 2010 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions
Article   |   April 2010
Relationship of Word- and Sentence-Level Working Memory to Reading and Writing in Second, Fourth, and Sixth Grade
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2010, Vol. 41, 179-193. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0002)
History: Received January 3, 2008 , Revised June 11, 2008 , Accepted February 5, 2009
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2010, Vol. 41, 179-193. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0002)
History: Received January 3, 2008; Revised June 11, 2008; Accepted February 5, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 20

PurposeThe purpose of this study was to evaluate the contribution of working memory at the word and sentence levels of language to reading and writing outcomes.

MethodMeasures of working memory at the word and sentence levels, reading and writing, were administered to 2nd (N = 122), 4th (N = 222), and 6th (N = 105) graders. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate whether the 2 predictor working memory factors contributed unique variance beyond their shared covariance to each of 5 outcome factors: handwriting, spelling, composing, word reading, and reading comprehension.

ResultsAt each grade level, except for handwriting and composing in 6th grade, the word-level working memory factor contributed unique variance to each reading and writing outcome. The text-level working memory factor contributed unique variance to reading comprehension in 4th and 6th grade.

DiscussionThe clinical significance of these findings for assessment and intervention is discussed.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The research reported in this article was supported by Grant HD25858 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
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