This study examined the performance on verbalshort-term memory tasks of specifically readingdisabled children relative to reading-age matched andchronological-age matched control groups. Memory spanfor words, highly wordlike nonwords and less wordlikenonwords, speech rates for these items, and nonwordrepetition were examined. The reading disabled groupperformed equivalently to the reading-age controls onall tasks, and worse than the chronological-agecontrols. An effect of the wordlikeness of thenonwords was found in all tasks. Differences inspeech rate accounted for the effect of wordlikenessin memory span but not for the difference betweenwords and nonwords, or for the difference betweengroups. The stimulus effects did not vary between thegroups suggesting that reading disabled children arenot impaired on the process which gives rise to theseeffects, however they are impaired on the taskoverall, even after speech rate differences are takeninto account. These results are consistent with thenotion that there is a long-term memory contributionto memory span which is related to reading ability.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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