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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Effectiveness of Computerized Working Memory Training on Math Achievement and Other Transfer Effects in Children with ADHD and Math Difficulties
by Heishman, Angela, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2015, 495; 3687559
Abstract (Summary)

Background: Children with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder struggle daily and are at-risk for poor long-term outcomes. Emerging evidence suggests that WM may improve by adaptive computerized working memory training, but what is unclear is its effectiveness and transference to untrained tasks. Methods: Twenty-three (11 females) school-aged children with co-occurring math difficulties and ADHD participated in a quasi-experimental, repeated-measures study in school to investigate transfer effects of working memory training (Cogmed RM) on math achievement, fluid reasoning and memory and learning tasks. As part of a pilot, the Cogmed Progress Indicator (CPI) was used to measure transfer effects on working memory, following directions, and math challenge throughout the training. Standardized instruments were administered at baseline and at 4-weeks and 4-months post-intervention. Teachers and students completed the Conners-3 to assess ADHD. Teachers completed the BRIEF to measure executive functioning. Results: Significant improvement on the CPI was found on the following directions tasks. Statistically significant improvement was found on indices measuring verbal memory, visual memory, verbal working memory, symbolic working memory, attention/concentration, working memory, general memory, and fluid reasoning 4-weeks post-intervention. Statistically significant differences were also found at the 4-month follow-up period with the exception of verbal working memory index. Math fluency improved significantly 4-weeks after the assessment, but was not maintained at the 4-month post-test. The Applied Problems subtest was found to be significantly different at both post-test assessments. No statistically significant improvement was found on the math calculation subtest; however, the math calculation composite was found to improve statistically by the 4-month post-test. Working memory, inhibit, organization, and the Behavior Rating Index scales of the BRIEF were found to be statistically significant at the 4-month post-test. No statistically significant improvement was found on the Conners-3. The results on the DSM-IV-TR checklists on ADHD did show significant improvement at the 4-month post-test. Conclusion: Although the results of this study are promising, additional research is recommended to address the limitations of this study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kochhar-Bryant, Carol
Commitee: Shotel, Jay, Weiss, Brandi
School: The George Washington University
Department: Special Education
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Neurosciences, Mathematics, Special education
Keywords: Adhd, Math achievement, Working memory
Publication Number: 3687559
ISBN: 978-1-321-65171-3
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