Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Short and Engaging Adaptive Working Memory Intervention for Children With Developmental Language Disorder: Effects on Language and Working Memory

Version 1 : Received: 21 March 2022 / Approved: 28 March 2022 / Online: 28 March 2022 (13:43:53 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Henry, L.A.; Christopher, E.; Chiat, S.; Messer, D.J. A Short and Engaging Adaptive Working-Memory Intervention for Children with Developmental Language Disorder: Effects on Language and Working Memory. Brain Sci. 2022, 12, 642. Henry, L.A.; Christopher, E.; Chiat, S.; Messer, D.J. A Short and Engaging Adaptive Working-Memory Intervention for Children with Developmental Language Disorder: Effects on Language and Working Memory. Brain Sci. 2022, 12, 642.

Journal reference: Brain Sci. 2022, 12, 642
DOI: 10.3390/brainsci12050642

Abstract

Recent research has suggested that working memory training interventions may benefit children 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 included assessments of language (to evaluate far transfer of the training) and working memory (to evaluate near transfer of the training). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses controlling for pre-intervention performance and age found group to be a significant predictor of sentence comprehension and of performance on six untrained working memory measures at post-intervention and 9-month follow-up. Children in the intervention group showed significantly higher language comprehension and working memory scores at both time points than children in the active control group. The intervention programme showed potential to improve 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.

Keywords

Working memory training; intervention; developmental language disorder; children

Subject

BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, Developmental Psychology

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