Working memory profiles of children with dyslexia, developmental language disorder, or both

Shelley Gray, Annie B. Fox, Samuel Green, Mary Alt, Tiffany P. Hogan, Yaacov Petscher, Nelson Cowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Purpose: Compared to children with typical development,children with dyslexia, developmental language disorder(DLD), or both often demonstrate working memory deficits.It is unclear how pervasive the deficits are or whether thedeficits align with diagnostic category. The purpose of thisstudy was to determine whether different working memoryprofiles would emerge on a comprehensive battery ofcentral executive, phonological, visuospatial, and bindingworking memory tasks and whether these profiles wereassociated with group membership.Method: Three hundred two 2nd graders with typicaldevelopment, dyslexia, DLD, or dyslexia/DLD completed13 tasks from the Comprehensive Assessment Battery forChildren–Working Memory (Gray, Alt, Hogan, Green, & Cowan, n.d.) that assessed central executive, phonological,and visuospatial/attention components of working memory.Results: Latent class analyses yielded 4 distinct latentclasses: low overall (21%), average with high number updating(30%), average with low number updating (12%), and highoverall (37%). Children from each disability group and childrenfrom the typically developing group were present in each class.Discussion: Findings highlight the importance of knowingan individual child’s working memory profile becauseworking memory profiles are not synonymous with learningdisabilities diagnosis. Thus, working memory assessmentscould contribute important information about children’scognitive function over and above typical psychoeducationalmeasures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1839-1858
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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