Effects of WM training on development of early literacy skills in economically disadvantaged at-risk kindergartners

Institution: Loyola Marymount University

Investigator(s): Dr. Judith Foy

Program: Cogmed JM

Background & Aim: Research consistently shows that the strongest predictor of academic achievement in elementary school is academic performance upon school entry, the beginning of kindergarten. Most struggling early readers, however, can be helped with empirically-based intervention practices such as the Bookworm Project. However, it still remains of interest as to whether such reading interventions can be made more effective by the provision of working memory (WM) training. Researchers in this study will thus examine whether WM training provided prior to early reading intervention improves response to this intervention in children at significant risk for reading impairment compared to children who receive WM intervention mid-way during the school year. They will also assess whether training parameters reflecting individual differences in response to the WM intervention will predict non-trained outcomes and whether the results of this small-scale pilot study will be used to develop a larger study involving four other sites for the Bookworm Project the following year.

Population & Sample Size: N = 24 children in typical classroom, ages 6 -7 years

Design: Randomized, Controlled, Double-blinded, Test-retest, 9 month follow-up

To read more about The Bookworm Project, click here.