Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Mark McGowan, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Roger Briscoe, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Timothy Runge, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Mark Staszkiewicz, Ed.D.


It is rarely challenged that deficits in working memory during childhood are related to academic difficulties. Poor working memory is linked to difficulties focusing, remembering and completing classroom instructions, planning and organizing information, solving problems, and monitoring progress during complex tasks. Researchers have consistently demonstrated a relationship between working memory and reading ability. Moreover, it is well established that students who have deficits in reading also perform poorly on working memory tasks when compared to same-aged peers. The current study assessed the effectiveness of adaptive training on working memory and reading achievement via the use of Cogmed. Cogmed is an evidenced-based intervention designed to improve working memory. Cogmed training uses a web-based computerized system and can be accessed in various locations. The training has been demonstrated to be a complementary intervention and will likely produce the greatest benefit when combined with other sources of interventions. Research has shown that adaptive training in working memory has led to gains in word reading, reading comprehension, mathematical ability, and improved attention. The current study examined the effects of intensive and systematic training in working memory strategies on reading performance. A series of one-sample t-tests and two ANCOVAs were used to statistically determine improvements in working memory performance and significant differences, if any, in reading comprehension and reading fluency achievement between treatment groups. The results indicated that Cogmed training significantly improved working memory performance for the students in the experimental group. However, it appears that the gains did not result in better reading comprehension and reading fluency performance compared to the control group without the working memory training. Implications for the field of school psychology are noted as well as recommendations for future research.