The deficit profile of working memory, inhibition, and updating in Chinese children with reading difficulties

Peng Peng, Tao Sha, Beilei Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study investigated executive function deficits among Chinese children with reading difficulties. Verbal and numerical measures of working memory, inhibition, updating, and processing speed were examined among children with only reading difficulties (RD), children with reading and mathematics difficulties (RDMD), and typically developing peers (TD). Results showed that compared to the TD group, children with RD exhibited deficits in verbal working memory, inhibition, and processing speed, whereas children with RDMD had deficits in all these executive functions and processing speed in both the verbal and the numerical content. Processing speed mediated working memory and inhibition differences between the TD and the reading impaired groups, but processing speed could not explain the group differences in updating or the numerical working memory difference between children with RD and children with RDMD. The findings suggest that the executive function deficits of Chinese children with reading difficulties vary by task modality (verbal and numerical) and subtype (RD and RDMD). Implications of the findings for executive function training are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Executive functions
  • Inhibition
  • Reading difficulties
  • Task modality
  • Updating
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The deficit profile of working memory, inhibition, and updating in Chinese children with reading difficulties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this