The Open UniversitySkip to content

Strategic verbal rehearsal in adolescents with mild intellectual disabilities: A multi-centre European study

Poloczek, Sebastian; Henry, Lucy A.; Danielson, Henrik; Büttner, Gerhard; Mähler, Claudia; Messer, David J.; Schuchardt, Kirsten and van der Molen, Mariët J. (2016). Strategic verbal rehearsal in adolescents with mild intellectual disabilities: A multi-centre European study. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 58 pp. 83–93.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (405kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Background: There is a long-held view that verbal short-term memory problems of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) might be due to a deficit in verbal rehearsal. However, the evidence is inconclusive and word length effects as indicator of rehearsal have been criticised. Aim & Method: The aim of this multi-site European study was to investigate verbal rehearsal in adolescents with mild ID (n=90) and a comparison group of typically developing children matched individually for mental age (MA, n=90). The investigation involved: (1) a word length experiment with non-verbal recall using pointing and (2) ‘self-paced’ inspection times to infer whether verbal strategies were utilised when memorising a set of pictorial items. Results: The word length effect on recall did not interact with group, suggesting that adolescents with ID and MA comparisons used similar verbal strategies, possibly phonological recoding of picture names. The inspection time data suggested that high span individuals in both groups used verbal labelling or single item rehearsal on more demanding lists, as long named items had longer inspection times. Conclusions: The findings suggest that verbal strategy use is not specifically impaired in adolescents with mild ID and is mental age appropriate, supporting a developmental perspective.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 Elsevier Ltd.
ISSN: 0891-4222
Keywords: intellectual disability; memory span; memory strategies; children / adolescents; word length effects; self-pacing
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 47434
Depositing User: David Messer
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2016 15:36
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 15:28
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU