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Relationships between working memory and reading comprehension in beginning and intermediate readers Molloy, Peter John


This study investigated the relationships between working memory and reading comprehension. Two non-linguistic (digit span and modified digit span) and two linguistic (word span and reading span) memory measures were used. These measures were comprised of 11 tests. From these tests, predictors of reading comprehension were sought. Two subtests from the Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests (W.R.M.T.) were used as a measure of reading comprehension. Age related differences between the 30 Grade 2 and 30 Grade 6 subjects were also investigated. Significant differences in the mean scores of the Grade 2 and 6's were found of all 5 of the non-linguistic tests but only on 1 of the linguistic tests. Familiarity with the lexicon used in the linguistic tasks may account for this. No significant interactions were found between grade measures. The modified digit span, word span and reading span tasks were found to be significant predictors of reading comprehension. The complex reading span measure had the highest level of significance of the three. This suggests that linguistic working memory task that had a capacity and processing component best predicts reading comprehension.

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