The relationship between age, verbal working memory, and language comprehension

Gayle DeDe, Karen Kemtes, David Caplan, Gloria Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


A structural modeling approach was used to examine the relationships between age, verbal working memory (vWM), and 3 types of language measures: online syntactic processing, sentence comprehension, and text comprehension. The best-fit model for the online-processing measure revealed a direct effect of age on online sentence processing, but no effect mediated through vWM. The best-fit models for sentence and text comprehension included an effect of age mediated through vWM and no direct effect of age. These results indicate that the relationship among age, vWM, and comprehension differs depending on the measure of language processing and support the view that individual differences in vWM do not affect individuals' online syntactic processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-616
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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