Working memory limitations in children with severe language impairment
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SourceJournal of Communication Disorders, 41, 2, (2008), pp. 85-107
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI BO
SW OZ BSI OLO
Journal of Communication Disorders
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
In the present study, the relations of various aspects of working memory to various aspects of language problems in a clinical sample of 97 Dutch speaking 5-year-old children with severe language problems were studied. The working memory and language abilities of the children were examined using an extensive battery of tests. Working memory was operationalized according to the model of Baddeley. Confirmative factor analyses revealed three memory factors: phonological, visual and central executive. Language was construed as a multifactorial construct, and confirmative factor analyses revealed four factors: lexical-semantic abilities, phonological abilities, syntactic abilities and speech production abilities. Moderate to high correlations were found between the memory and language factors. Structural equation modelling was used to further explore the relations between the different factors. Phonological memory was found to predict phonological abilities; central-executive memory predicted lexical-semantic abilities; and visual memory predicted speech production abilities. Phonological abilities also predicted syntactic abilities. Both the theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed. Learning outcomes: The reader will be introduced to the concepts of multifactorial components of working memory as well as language impairment. Secondly the reader will recognize that working memory and language impairment factors can be related. Particular emphasis will be placed on phonological memory, central-executive memory and visual memory and their possible prediction of specific components of language impairment.
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