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Title: Speech processing and short-term memory in children with normal and atypical speech and language development
Author: Vance, Margaret Anne
ISNI:       0000 0001 3542 5699
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis is motivated by research evidence of significant relationships between short-term memory and speech and language development, and by clinical observations of poor short-term memory skills in some children with developmental language difficulties. It addresses the question 'to what degree do speech processing skills underpin short-term memory and language development'? A series of experiments were carried out, collecting data from children, aged 7 years and under, who were developing normally, and from children with speech and / or language difficulties. Performance on tasks of speech production and auditory discrimination were found to show significant developmental differences, and these speech processing skills were significantly correlated with non-word repetition performance. Different presentation and response mechanisms, and the phonological complexity of words to be recalled significantly affected short-term memory performance. These findings implicate speech input and output processing in short-term memory performance. Data from a longitudinal study showed that auditory discrimination skills significantly predicted the development of both short-term memory and receptive language development, but speech production skills were not related to short-term memory or language development. Short-term memory skills significantly predicted grammatical development. A series of case studies of children with speech and/or language difficulties demonstrated a range of individual, longitudinal profiles of performance across speech processing, short term memory and standardised language measures. Findings from the normative data did not explain the patterns of development in clinical cases, however, short-term memory skills were broadly in line with the level of receptive language development attained. Relationships between short-term memory, speech and language in normal development may not reflect the mechanisms by which short-term memory and language is impaired in disordered individuals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology