The Role of Working Memory in Reading Abilities
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology
ISSN or ISBN
To determine the extent to which memory can predict reading abilities after controlling for gender, age, and education.
The participants were drawn from a de-identified adult clinical database. Two hierarchical multiple regressions (n = 246, Mage = 33.5, Medu = 13.8, 56% Caucasian, 58% Female) tested the ability of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) Working Memory Index (WMI) Score, and the Weschler Memory Scale Fourth Edition (WMS-IV) Visual Working Memory Index (VWMI) Score to predict reading abilities on the Nelson Denny Reading Test (NDRT) Vocabulary and Comprehension Standard Scores after controlling for the effects of gender, age, and education.
In both regressions, gender, age, and education were entered in step 1 and WMI and VWMI were entered in step 2. In analysis of Vocabulary, step 1 explained 8% of variance; after step 2 the model explained 21% of variance F (5, 240) =12.98, p < 0.001. WMI and VWMI scores explained 12% of variance after control variables, In analysis of Comprehension, step 1 accounted for 0.3% of variance; after step 2, the model explained 12% of the variance F (5, 240) = 6.54, p < 0.001.
WMI and VWMI contributed unique variance to Vocabulary (12%) and Comprehension (12%). This suggests that memory is an important predictor of reading abilities. Additionally, education becomes a significant factor when predicting Comprehension. This may suggest that education may mediate the relationship between memory and reading abilities. The results indicate the vital role memory plays to carry out processing and storage functions while reading.
(2021). The Role of Working Memory in Reading Abilities. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 36(6).
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/cps_facarticles/1970