The purpose of this study was to assess the contributions of specific components of verbal and nonverbal working memory and of phonological awareness to the prediction of reading achievement. One hundred and three children from grades 1, 2, and 3 were administered a measure of phonological awareness, four measures of working memory, four measures of academic achievement, and a measure of verbal intelligence. Separate multiple regression analyses controlling for the effects of age, sex and verbal intelligence showed that tests of verbal memory and of direct recall significantly predicted reading and spelling achievement whereas tests of backward recall significantly predicted only pseudoword identification. Phonological awareness was also found to relate significantly to reading and spelling achievement even when working memory was partialled out. Thus, phonological awareness and measures of working memory predicted specific and significant amounts of variance in reading and spelling achievement. Further, none of these measures were specifically related to arithmetic achievement. The specific roles of phonological awareness and working memory in reading development are examined in the discussion.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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