Thursday, January 23, 2014
Individual differences in processing speed mediate a relationship between working memory and children's classroom behaviour
Jarrold, C., Mackett, N., Hall, D. (2013). Individual differences in processing speed mediate a relationship between working memory and children's classroom behaviour. Learning and individual Differences. http://dx.doi.org /10.1016/ j.lindif.2013.10.016.
Studies show that poor working memory capacity is associated with attention problems in a classroom setting. In this study, Jarrold and colleagues examine the relationship between working memory and classroom behaviour in more detail by examining three components of working memory: domain-specific storage capacity, domain-general processing efficiency, and a supervisory/coordinating function (Bayliss, Jarrold, Gunn, & Baddeley, 2003). The aim of this study was to understand which of these key factors of working memory drive the relation between working memory performance and teachers’ ratings of classroom behaviour.
In this study, 47 children in grades 1 and 2 completed measures of short-term storage capacity only, processing efficiency only, or working memory incorporating both storage and processing. Teachers completed a classroom behaviour rating scale for each child. Results revealed that processing speed was the only significant predictor of individual behaviour in the classroom, and in particular, inattention.
The authors suggested that speed of processing may have a relatively general effect on individual behaviour, and this is most easily observed in terms of problems of attention.
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