Cognitive training can improve working memory in children at risk of working memory difficulties; however, response to training can vary and doubt exists if working memory improvements can be sustained long- term. This study aimed to explore whether child motivation and family environment are associated with working memory trajectories in children born extremely preterm or extremely low birth weight. Forty-five 7-year-old children completed Cogmed Working Memory Training® at home over 5–7 weeks. Children and their families completed working memory tests and child motivation and family environment questionnaires at baseline, with working memory further tested 2 weeks, 12 months and 24 months post-training. Latent growth modelling was used to explore whether child motivation and family environment factors were associated with working memory trajectories. Children’s desire for challenge, training competence, and being from a single-parent household were associated with short-term improvements in verbal short-term memory. Children from poorer functioning families were associated with short-term improvements in working memory. There was little evidence that child motivation or family environment was associated with long-term working memory changes. Child motivation and the training environment may be important for understanding training effects in children born extremely preterm or extremely low birth weight, and warrant closer examination in working memory training studies.
- working memory, cognitive training
- family functioning
- individual differences