First Advisor

Christina Gildersleeve-Neumann

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Speech and Hearing Sciences and University Honors


Speech and Hearing Sciences


Short-term memory, Articulation disorders in children, Speech disorders in children, Language acquisition




Background: Alan Baddeley and Graham Hitch introduced working memory processes as a three component model including the visuo-spatial sketch pad, the central executive, and the phonological loop. The phonological loop has been theorized to play a role in speech and language acquisition and production. Aims: This study aimed to explore the potential relationship between school-aged children with atypically developing speech and their working memory ability as compared to their typically developing age matched peers. Methods: Participants age 5;0-5;11 and 8;0-8;11 were separated into two groups based on articulation test scores as well as any documented developmental challenges. The participants completed standardized testing as well as two experimental cognitive working memory tasks. Results: There was no significant difference in the 5;0-5;11 age group in their cognitive working memory task score average. However there was a significant difference in the 8;0-8;11 age group’s cognitive working memory task score average. Discussion: There is potentially a connection between phonological ability and the phonological sub vocal rehearsal system that is reflected by the scores in the control group and the atypically developing group. The phonological sub vocal rehearsal system houses the sub system for orthographic information processing. This model would align appropriately with the notion that the participants who do not have speech within functional limits would also perform more poorly on a working memory tasks that do not allow them to rely on orthographic information.


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