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Short-term memory may yet be deficient in children with language impairments: a comment on van der Lely & Howard (1993)
Gathercole, S.E. & Baddeley, A.D.
Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 38, 463-466
Year of publication:
There are some serious flaws in the argument presented by van der Lely and Howard (1993) that children with specific language impairments do not have deficits in verbal short-term memory, despite earlier evidence that they do (Gathercole & Baddeley, 1990). Here, we take the opportunity to point out that (a) the experimental methodology employed by van de Lely and Howard fails to provide an interpretable assessment of verbal short-term memory function in their sample with language impairments; (b) by failing to use the conventional memory techniques employed in previous studies, these authors missed the critical opportunity of attempting to replicate the original findings, leaving the disparity between studies necessarily and unsatisfactirly ambiguous; and (c) the criticisms of the criteria used to select the children participating in the Gathercole and Baddeley (1990) study are ungrounded.