The structure of working memory from 4 to 15 years of age

S. E. Gathercole, S. J. Pickering, B. Ambridge, H. Wearing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The structure of working memory and its development across the childhood years were investigated in children 4-15 years of age. The children were given multiple assessments of each component of the A. D. Baddeley and G. Hitch (1974) working memory model. Broadly similar linear functions characterized performance on all measures as a function of age. From 6 years onward, a model consisting of 3 distinct but correlated factors corresponding to the working memory model provided a good fit to the data. The results indicate that the basic modular structure of working memory is present from 6 years of age and possibly earlier, with each component undergoing sizable expansion in functional capacity throughout the early and middle school years to adolescence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-190
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Adolescent Association Learning Child Child Development Child, Preschool Female Humans Male Memory, Short-Term Mental Recall Models, Psychological Multivariate Analysis Neuropsychological Tests Orientation Pattern Recognition, Visual Phonetics Psychometrics Serial Learning Verbal Learning


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