Cognitive predictors of verbal memory in a mixed clinical pediatric sample

Lizabeth L. Jordan*, Callie E. Tyner, Shelley C. Heaton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Verbal memory problems, along with other cognitive difficulties, are common in children diagnosed with neurological and/or psychological disorders. Historically, these “memory problems” have been poorly characterized and often present with a heterogeneous pattern of performance across memory processes, even within a specific diagnostic group. The current study examined archival neuropsychological data from a large mixed clinical pediatric sample in order to understand whether functioning in other cognitive areas (i.e., verbal knowledge, attention, working memory, executive functioning) may explain some of the performance variability seen across verbal memory tasks of the Children’s Memory Scale (CMS). Multivariate analyses revealed that among the cognitive functions examined, only verbal knowledge explained a significant amount of variance in overall verbal memory performance. Further univariate analyses examining the component processes of verbal memory indicated that verbal knowledge is specifically related to encoding, but not the retention or retrieval stages. Future research is needed to replicate these findings in other clinical samples, to examine whether verbal knowledge predicts performance on other verbal memory tasks and to explore whether these findings also hold true for visual memory tasks. Successful replication of the current study findings would indicate that interventions targeting verbal encoding deficits should include efforts to improve verbal knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-535
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Cognitive development
  • Memory
  • Pediatric neuropsychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Development
  • Genetics
  • Psychology(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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