Measures and References: Speed of Processing

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Numerous measures exist to gain a full picture of a student's learning strengths and challenges. Following are examples of measures used to assess this Learner Factor. These measures should be administered and interpreted by experienced professionals.

Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities (Schrank, Mather, & McGrew, 2014): Contains three subtests that examine Speed of Processing: Number-Pattern Matching, Pair Cancellation, and Letter-Pattern Matching


Catts, H. W., Fey, M. E., Zhang, X., & Tomblin, J. B. (2001). Estimating the risk of future reading difficulties in kindergarten children: A research-based model and its clinical implementation. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 32(1), 38-50.

Catts, H. W., Gillispie, M., Leonard, L. B., Kail, R. V., & Miller, C. A. (2002). The role of speed of processing, rapid naming, and phonological awareness in reading achievement. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 35(6), 510-525.

Fry, A., & Hale, S. (1996). Processing speed, working memory, and fluid intelligence: Evidence for developmental cascade. Psychological Science, 7(4), 237-241.

Kail, R., & Hall, L. K. (2001). Distinguishing short-term memory from working memory. Memory & Cognition, 29(1), 1-9.

Kail, R. V. (2007). Longitudinal evidence that increases in processing speed and working memory enhance children's reasoning. Psychological Science, 18(4), 312-313.

Kail, R., & Salthouse, T. A. (1994). Processing speed as a mental capacity. Acta Psychologica, 86(2-3), 199-225.

Koponen, T., Salmi, P., Eklund, K., & Aro, T. (2013). Counting and RAN: Predictors of arithmetic calculation and reading fluency. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(1), 162-175.

Leonard, L. B., Weismer, S. E., Miller, C. A., Francis, D. J., Tomblin, J. B., & Kail, R. V. (2007). Speed of processing, working memory, and language impairment in children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 50(2), 408-428.

Lervag, A., & Hulme, C. (2009). Rapid automatized naming (RAN) taps a mechanism that places constraints on the development of early reading fluency. Psychological Science, 20(8), 1040-1048.

Montgomery, J. W., & Windsor, J. (2007). Examining the language performances of children with and without specific language impairment: Contributions of phonological short-term memory and speed of processing. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 50(3), 778-797.

Shaul, S., & Nevo, E. (2015). Different speed of processing levels in childhood and their contribution to early literacy and reading abilities. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 32, 193-203.

Sheppard, L. D., & Vernon, P. (2008). Intelligence and speed of information- processing: A review of 50 years of research. Personality and Individual Differences, 44(3), 535-551.

Simmons, F. R., & Singleton, C. (2008). Do weak phonological representations impact on arithmetic development? A review of research into arithmetic and dyslexia. Dyslexia, 14(2), 77-94.

Swanson, L., & Kim, K. (2007). Working memory, short-term memory, and naming speed as predictors of children's mathematical performance. Intelligence, 35, 151-168.

Van den Bos, K.P.S., Lutje Spelberg, H. C., & Ruizeveld-de Winter, E.L. (2008). Serieel benoemen en woorden lezen [Serial naming and word reading]. Groningen, the Netherlands.

Vought J.K., Dean R.S. (2011) Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities. In: Goldstein S., Naglieri J.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development. Springer, Boston, MA.