Working memory performance and executive function behaviors in young children with SLI
SourceResearch in Developmental Disabilities, 35, 1, (2014), pp. 62-74
Article / Letter to editor
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Research in Developmental Disabilities
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory; Learning and Plasticity; Neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
The present study compared the performances of young children with specific language impairment (SLI) to that of typically developing (TD) children on cognitive measures of working memory (WM) and behavioral ratings of executive functions (EF). The Automated Working Memory Assessment was administered to 58 children with SLI and 58 TO children aged 4 and 5 years. Additionally, parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Preschool Version. The results showed the SLI group to perform significantly worse than the TO group on both cognitive and behavioral measures of WM. The deficits in WM performance were not restricted to the verbal domain, but also affected visuospatial WM. The deficits in EF behaviors included problems with inhibition, shifting, emotional control, and planning/organization. The patterns of associations between WM performance and EF behaviors differed for the SLI versus TO groups. WM performance significantly discriminated between young children with SLI and TD, with 89% of the children classified correctly. The data indicate domain general impairments in WM and problems in EF behaviors in young children with SLI. Attention should thus be paid to WM - both verbal and visuospatial - and EF in clinical practice. Implications for assessment and remediation were discussed.
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