Document: Building Word-Problem Solving and Working Memory Capacity: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Three Intervention Approaches

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Publication in the Journal of Education Psychology (2022), 2022, Vol. 114, No. 7, 1633–1653.

The purpose of this study was to contrast alternative approaches to structure word-problem solving (WPS) intervention, including previously validated structured WPS intervention, the same WPS intervention with embedded working memory (WM) training, and general WM training with contiguous math practice. Second-grade students with WPS difficulty were randomly assigned to four conditions: validated structured WPS intervention (Pirate Math), Pirate Math with embedded WM training, general WM training with contiguous math practice, and a business-as-usual control group. Each of the three active intervention conditions involved 45 30-min sessions conducted one-to-one for 15 weeks. WM, WPS, and arithmetic were assessed before and 1-3 weeks after intervention. WPS and arithmetic were assessed again 4-6 weeks later. Multilevel models testing main effects and testing WM as a mediator of significant main effects were conducted. Baseline WM was assessed in a secondary set of moderation analyses.

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Journal Contribution