Introduction. The purpose of this project was to discover patterns in working memory functioning as they relate to language ability in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Specifically, this project investigated how children with FASD process auditory information.
Method. Twenty-two children from 9-13 years old were divided into two groups: an FASD group and a neurotypical (NT) group. Participants were given a language assessment and a working memory assessment. Their speed in answering questions on the working memory tasks was measured as “auditory working memory processing time.”
Results. Participants in the FASD group performed significantly lower than participants in the NT group for all language tasks and working memory tasks. However, when looking at the average processing time, no significant difference was found. When the questions were divided by difficulty and the groups were combined, processing times were significantly faster for the easier working memory tasks than on the hard tasks. Likewise, the NT group’s processing time was significantly faster on the easier tasks than on the hard tasks. No significant difference was found between hard or easy tasks for the FASD group.
Discussion. Findings indicated that children with FASD are performing significantly worse on language and executive function tasks, but are not taking more time to process more difficult auditory working memory tasks than easier working memory tasks. Future research should examine the relationship between processing time and the broader category of executive function, as well as the relationship between executive function and other processes.
|Commitee:||Gentry, Betholyn, Moser, Dana, Kintz, Stephen, Deere, David|
|School:||University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences|
|Department:||Communication Sciences and Disorders|
|School Location:||United States -- Arkansas|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Speech therapy, Neurosciences, Developmental psychology, Disability studies, Audiology, Public health|
|Keywords:||Executive functioning, FASD, Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, Processing speed, Processing time, Working memory, Spectrum disorders, Lanaguage assessment, Auditory information|
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