Relationship of Word- and Sentence-Level Working Memory to Reading and Writing in Second, Fourth, and Sixth Grade Purpose The 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. Method Measures of working memory at the word and sentence levels, reading and writing, were administered to 2nd (N = 122), ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2010
Relationship of Word- and Sentence-Level Working Memory to Reading and Writing in Second, Fourth, and Sixth Grade
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Virginia W. Berninger
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Robert D. Abbott
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • H. Lee Swanson
    University of California, Riverside
  • Dan Lovitt
    University of Washington
  • Pam Trivedi
    University of Washington
  • Shin-Ju (Cindy) Lin
    University of Washington
  • Laura Gould
    University of Washington
  • Marci Youngstrom
    University of Washington
  • Shirley Shimada
    University of Washington
  • Dagmar Amtmann
    University of Washington
  • Contact author: Virginia W. Berninger, 322 Miller, Box 353600, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-3600. E-mail: vwb@u.washington.edu.
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 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: 23

Purpose The 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.

Method Measures 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.

Results At 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.

Discussion The 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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