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Identifying early links between temperament, short-term and working memory in preschoolers

The present study aimed to investigate early interrelationships between temperament, short-term memory (STM) and working memory (WM), while also relating them to incipient anxious traits in a sample of 4-7-year-olds. Preschoolers were evaluated using verbal and visuospatial STM and WM tasks, while parental reports were used to assess children's temperamental predispositions (impulsivity, negative affect, and effortful control) and trait anxiety. Although STM and WM performances increased with age, findings revealed that irrespective of age-related improvements, (1) greater visuospatial short-term spans were predicted by higher levels of effortful control, and by lower levels of impulsivity and (2) better verbal and visuospatial WM performances were predicted by lower levels of impulsivity. The analyses did not confirm the anticipated impact of negative affect and trait anxiety; yet the overall low levels of trait anxiety impede us from drawing firm conclusions. Current findings expand our understanding regarding WM development variations by emphasizing the influential role of temperament. (author abstract)
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Reports & Papers

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