The development and assessment of working memory in childhood
It is well known that working memory is related to cognitive development and learning. The performance of children develops throughout childhood up to adolescence in all subcomponents of working memory. We review the mechanisms underlying working memory development, which are the development of inner rehearsal and encoding processes, the focus of attention, the development of the effective use of strategies, the increase in processing speed and the increase in the knowledgebase in long term memory. In addition, we describe methods that are used in the assessment of working memory of children of different ages. Internationally, a wide range of tasks has been developed for assessing working memory. However, the clinical assessment methods developed in Finland so far do not enable the assessment of the subcomponents of working memory separately. Consequently, it is important to develop working memory assessment methods in Finland.