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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The relationship between short-term memory and reading in learning disabled and average learners Eng, Karen


The purposes of the present study were to investigate the relationship between short-term memory and reading in learning disabled and average learners, and to determine whether this relationship is different between ages 8 to 10 and ages 11 to 13 in these two populations. Studies have shown that children with learning disabilities tend to perform poorer on short-term memory tasks compared to children with no disabilities. The present study was conducted because the short-term memory component in the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale is new and it was felt that information regarding this test's usefulness with learning disabled students would be beneficial for individuals in the field of educational assessment. A total of 80 children, 39 average and 41 learning disabled were selected from the five public elementary schools that have learning disabilities classes in the Langley School District. For each group of learning disabled children selected from the learning disabilities class, an equal number of average learners was chosen from the same school. The children were divided into two age groups: 8- to 10-year-olds and 11- to 13-year-olds and then further divided into their two learning categories. Four short-term memory subtests of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition: Bead Memory, Memory for Sentences, Memory for Digits and Memory for Objects and three reading comprehension subtests, from B.C. QUick Individual Educational Test, Peabody Individual Achievement Test and Test of Reading Comprehension respectively, were administered to all groups to measure short-term memory and reading. The Multivariate Analysis of Variance and the Pearson Product-Moment Correlation were used to analyse the data. Results showed that the average learners scored significantly higher than the learning disabled group in both short-term memory and reading. There was no interaction effect of learning group and age on reading or short-term memory. Significant relationships were found between short-term mmeory and reading for the average learning group but none was found for the learning disabled group.

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