The Relation Between Phonological Working Memory and Sentence Production in School-Aged Children
AuthorMettler, Heidi Michelle
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractResearch has revealed a relation between phonological working memory (PWM) and language abilities, showing that children with language-learning impairments have poorer PWM than their typically-developing peers (Montgomery et al., 2010). Limited work has examined PWM in relation to sentence production abilities in school-aged children. We hypothesized that PWM abilities would predict performance on the Formulated Sentences (FS) subtest of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals – IV, of typically-developing and language-learning impaired school-aged children (N=273). Additionally, we hypothesized that the children's PWM abilities would correlate with characteristics of their correct formulated sentences, measured by lexical diversity, length, and complexity (hypothesis 2), and that PWM would correlate with processing fluency, measured by mazes (hypothesis 3) and pauses (hypothesis 4). For our fifth hypothesis, we predicted there would be group differences in PWM and sentence characteristics when comparing the typically-developing children to children with language-learning impairment. We examined these hypotheses with data from a subset of 27 children with language-learning impairment and 27 typically-developing peers. Results support our first and third hypotheses and partially support our fifth hypothesis but not our second or fourth hypotheses. These results suggest that PWM can be used to predict FS scores and that PWM may be more closely related to the types of errors in children’s sentences. Furthermore, results from our fifth hypothesis suggest that deficits in PWM and sentence production may simply co-occur but not interact in children with language-learning impairment.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences