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ERIC Number: EJ1013886
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Who's Who? Memory Updating and Character Reference in Children's Narratives
Whitely, Cristy; Colozzo, Paola
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v56 n5 p1625-1636 Oct 2013
Purpose: The capacity to update and monitor the contents of working memory is an executive function presumed to play a critical role in language processing. The current study used an individual differences approach to consider the relationship between memory updating and accurate reference to story characters in the narratives of typically developing children. Method: English-speaking children from kindergarten to grade 2 ("N" = 63; M[subscript age] = 7.0 years) completed updating tasks, short-term memory tasks, and narrative productions. The authors used multiple regression to test whether updating accounted for independent variability in referential adequacy. Results: The capacity to update working memory was related to adequate character reference beyond the effects of age and of short-term memory capacity, with the strongest relationship emerging for maintaining reference over multiple utterances. Conclusions: This individual differences study is the first to show a link between updating and performance in a discourse production task for young school-age children. The findings contribute to the growing body of research investigating the role of working memory in shaping language production. This study invites extension to children of different ages and language abilities as well as to other language production tasks.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Kindergarten; Grade 1; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A