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ERIC Number: EJ1076686
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
ISSN: ISSN-0022-2194
Working Memory in Children with Learning Disabilities in Reading versus Spelling: Searching for Overlapping and Specific Cognitive Factors
Brandenburg, Janin; Klesczewski, Julia; Fischbach, Anne; Schuchardt, Kirsten; Büttner, Gerhard; Hasselhorn, Marcus
Journal of Learning Disabilities, v48 n6 p622-634 Nov-Dec 2015
In transparent orthographies like German, isolated learning disabilities in either reading or spelling are common and occur as often as a combined reading and spelling disability. However, most issues surrounding the cognitive causes of these isolated or combined literacy difficulties are yet unresolved. Recently, working memory dysfunctions have been demonstrated to be promising in explaining the emergence of literacy difficulties. Thus, we applied a 2 (reading disability: yes vs. no) × 2 (spelling disability: yes vs. no) factorial design to examine distinct and overlapping working memory profiles associated with learning disabilities in reading versus spelling. Working memory was assessed in 204 third graders, and multivariate analyses of variance were conducted for each working memory component. Children with spelling disability suffered from more pronounced phonological loop impairments than those with reading disability. In contrast, domain-general central-executive dysfunctions were solely associated with reading disability, but not with spelling disability. Concerning the visuospatial sketchpad, no impairments were found. In sum, children with reading disability and those with spelling disability seem to be characterized by different working memory profiles. Thus, it is important to take both reading and spelling into account when investigating cognitive factors of literacy difficulties in transparent orthographies.
SAGE Publications and Hammill Institute on Disabilities. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Cattell Culture Fair Intelligence Test