Measures and References: Working Memory

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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.

Working Memory Rating Scale (WMRS) (Alloway, Gathercole, Kirkwood, & Elliott, 2009): A behavior rating scale for teachers to use based on behavior patterns typically observed in students with poor Working Memory skills


Alloway, T. P., & Alloway, R. G. (2010). Investigating the predictive roles of working memory and IQ in academic attainment. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 106(1), 20-29.

Alloway, T. P., Gathercole, S. E., Kirkwood, H., & Elliott, J. (2009). The working memory rating scale: A classroom-based behavioral assessment of working memory. Learning and Individual Differences, 19(2), 242-245.

Currie, N. K., & Cain, K. (2015). Children's inference generation: The role of vocabulary and working memory. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 137, 57-75.

Dahlin, K. I. (2011). Effects of working memory training on reading in children with special needs. Reading and Writing, 24(4), 479-491.

Daneman, M., Carpenter, P.A. (1980). Individual differences in working memory and reading. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 19(4), 450-466.

DePrince, A. P., Weinzierl, K. M., & Combs, M. D. (2009). Executive function performance and trauma exposure in a community sample of children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 33(6), 353-361.

Farah, M. J., Shera, D. M., Savage, J. H., Betancourt, L., Giannetta, J. M., Brodsky, N.L., ... Hurt, H. (2006). Childhood poverty: specific associations with neurocognitive development. Brain Research, 1110(1), 166-174.

Gioia, G. A., Isquith, P. K., Guy, S. C., & Kenworthy, L. (2000). Behavior rating inventory of executive function. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.

Hannon, B., & Daneman, M. (2001). A new tool for measuring and understanding individual differences in the component processes of reading comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 103-128.

Harms, T., Clifford, R. M., & Cryer, D. (1998). Early childhood environment rating scale__. Revised edition. New York, NY: Teachers College Press, Columbia University.

Hofmann, W., Schmeichel, B. J., & Baddeley, A. D. (2012). Executive functions and self-regulation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16(3), 174-180.

Holsgrove, J. V., & Garton, A. F. (2006). Phonological and syntactic processing and the role of working memory in reading comprehension among secondary school students. Australian Journal of Psychology, 58(2), 111-118.

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

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.

McVay, J. C., & Kane, M. J. (2012). Why does working memory capacity predict variation in reading comprehension? On the influence of mind wandering and executive attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141(2), 302-320.

Noble, K. G., Norman, M. F., & Farah, M. J. (2005). Neurocognitive correlates of socioeconomic status in kindergarten children. Developmental Science, 8(1), 74-87.

Noble, K. G., McCandliss, B. D., & Farah, M. J. (2007). Socioeconomic gradients predict individual differences in neurocognitive abilities. Developmental Science 10(4), 464-480.

Nouwens, S., Groen, M. A., & Verhoeven, L. (2016). How storage and executive functions contribute to children's reading comprehension. Learning and Individual Differences, 47, 96-102.

Pianta, R. C., La Paro, K. M., & Hamre, B. K. (2008). Classroom assessment scoring system [CLASS] manual: Pre-K. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

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.

Smith, M. W., Dickinson, D. K., Sangeorge, A., & Anastasopoulos, L. (2002). User's guide to the Early Language & Literacy Classroom Observation toolkit: Research edition. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

Swanson, H. L., Howard, C. B., & Saez, L. (2006). Do different components of working memory underlie different subgroups of reading disabilities?Journal of Learning Disabilities, 39(3), 252-269.

Wagner, R., Torgesen, J., & Rashotte, C. (2000). Comprehensive test of phonological processing. Austin, TX: PRO-ED.

Wechsler, D. (1991). Wechsler intelligence scale for children (3rd ed.). San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corp.

Wechsler, D. (1993). Wechsler objective reading dimensions. London: Pearson Assessment.

Wechsler, D. (1996). Wechsler objective numerical dimensions. London: Pearson Assessment.