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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Working memory abilities in children with special educational needs
Author(s): Alloway, Tracy Packiam
Gathercole, Susan Elizabeth
Adams, Anne-Marie
Willis, Catherine
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Keywords: working memory
Memory in children
Short-term memory
Children with disabilities
Learning disabled children
Issue Date: 2005
Date Deposited: 5-Feb-2009
Citation: Alloway TP, Gathercole SE, Adams A & Willis C (2005) Working memory abilities in children with special educational needs. Educational and Child Psychology, 22 (4), pp. 56-67.$.cfm?file_uuid=3B543F77-1143-DFD0-7EBB-3A08FE81F156
Abstract: This study investigates the distinctive working memory profiles of children with learning difficulties. A sample of 64 children aged 7 to 11 years with recognised special educational needs at varying stages participated in this study. They were tested on measures of the central executive, phonological loop and visuospatial skills. The children in all three special needs subgroups performed below the expected attainment levels for their age in central executive and visuo-spatial tasks, but not in measures of the phonological loop. Very low levels of working memory performance were many times more common in the special needs sample than in a large sample of children without special educational needs. Deficits in working memory performance were more marked in children with statements of special needs than those at earlier stages of recognition of the need for educational support, particularly in measures of the central executive. These children struggle to meet the demands of complex tasks that require them to process, maintain, and store information simultaneously. It is suggested that this difficulty may underpin their failures to make normal educational progress.
Rights: Publisher version freely available at the British Psychological Society web site:

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