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A short and engaging adaptive working memory intervention for children with Developmental Language Disorder: Effects on language and working memory

Henry, L. ORCID: 0000-0001-5422-4358, Christopher, E., Chiat, S. & Messer, D. J. (2022). A short and engaging adaptive working memory intervention for children with Developmental Language Disorder: Effects on language and working memory. Brain Sciences, 12(5), 642. doi: 10.3390/brainsci12050642


Recent research has suggested that working memory training interventions may benefit chil-dren with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). The current study investigated a short and engaging adaptive working memory intervention that targeted executive skills and aimed to improve both language comprehension and working memory abilities in children with DLD. Forty-seven 6- to 10-year-old children with DLD were randomly allocated to an executive working memory training intervention (n=24) or an active control group (n=23). A pre-test/intervention/post-test/9-month-follow-up design was used. Outcome measures in-cluded assessments of language (to evaluate far transfer of the training) and working memory (to evaluate near transfer of the training). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses control-ling for pre-intervention performance and age found group to be a significant predictor of sen-tence comprehension and of performance on six untrained working memory measures at post-intervention and 9-month follow-up. Children in the intervention group showed signifi-cantly higher language comprehension and working memory scores at both time points than children in the active control group. The intervention programme showed potential to im-prove working memory and language comprehension in children with DLD and demonstrated several advantages: it involved short sessions over a short period; caused little disruption in the school day; and was enjoyed by children.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Publisher Keywords: Working memory training, intervention, developmental language disorder, children
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
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