Award Date

5-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Daniel N. Allen, Chair

Second Committee Member

Brad Donohue

Third Committee Member

Murray G. Millar

Graduate Faculty Representative

Chad Cross

Number of Pages

165

Abstract

Children experience natural cognitive changes as they grow older, with more rapid memory development when they are younger. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the expected normal variation in youth using the Test of Memory and Learning (TOMAL; Reynolds & Bigler, 1994). The TOMAL is a broad-band verbal and nonverbal memory battery that has been standardized on youth aged 5-19, providing a good source of information on memory development in healthy children. Cluster analysis analyzed 1121 children selected from the TOMAL standardization sample and identified homogeneous profile subtypes of memory and learning. In addition, three age ranges were determined via statistical analysis and subsequent cluster analysis were run on each of these ranges. Results found that a 5-cluster solution was optimal for the entire sample, a 4-cluster solution for the 5-8 year age group, a 5-cluster solution for the 9-11 group, and a 6-cluster solution for the 12-19 group. The 5-8 year age group exhibited variation in level of performance on TOMAL index and factor scores while other groups exhibited variation in both level and pattern of performance on these scores. These findings indicate a clear pattern of expected memory variation in normal children, with differential performance in verbal memory, nonverbal memory, attention/concentration, working memory, and spatial memory domains. Results also indicate that memory performance grows increasingly complex and diversified in older children as compared to younger children.

Keywords

Children; Cluster analysis; Memory in children; Memory in adolescence; Test of memory and learning (TOMAL); Psychological tests for children

Disciplines

Developmental Psychology

Language

English


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