Development of Memory Strategies in Children and Youths

The project aimed at identifying the developmental changes and differences in the development of memory strategies. Five dimensions of change were focussed on.

Project Description

Changes to learning and memory development are particularly evident in childhood and youth. In our research, a focus was placed on intra-individual changes and subsequent inter-individual differences. Our main research interest lied in identifying the types, strengths and directions of effects of developmental factors such as memory strategies and in analysing their interactions.

Project Objectives

The project aimed at identifying the developmental changes and differences in the development of memory strategies. Five dimensions of change were in the focus: the path of change, the variability of change, the rate of change, the breadth of change and the underlying mechanisms that are responsible for changes and differences in achievement. Longitudinal studies of children between 8 and 13 years provided the basis for a detailed insight into the changes of memory strategies in recent years, such as semantic organizational strategies and the rehearsal of learning material. Findings from these longitudinal studies suggest that development is triggered by task-specific meta-memory and working memory capacity, with differing degrees of influence on strategic conduct. In our lab, results from these longitudinal studies were complemented and enhanced by cross-sectional and micro-genetic studies assessing the influence of additional developmental mechanisms for a competent acquisition and use of strategies. These mechanisms include working memory components, motivational factors, self concept, and the existing knowledge basis.


  • Lehmann, M., & Hasselhorn, M. (2012). Rehearsal dynamics in elementary school children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 111, 552–560. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2011.10.013
  • Lehmann, M., & Hasselhorn, M. (2010). The dynamics of free recall and their relation to rehearsal between 8 and 10 years of age. Child Development, 81, 10061020.
  • Lehmann, M., & Hasselhorn, M. (2009). Entwicklung von Lernstrategien im Grundschulalter. In F. Hellmich & S. Wernke (Eds.), Lernstrategien im Grundschulalter. Konzepte, Befunde und praktische Implikationen (pp. 2541). Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.
  • Lehmann, M., & Hasselhorn, M. (2007). Variable memory strategy use in children’s adaptive intratask learning behavior: Developmental changes and working memory influences in free recall. Child Development, 78, 10681082.
  • Lehmann, M., Lingen, M., & Hasselhorn, M. (2005). Zur adaptiven Qualität kumulativen Rehearsals beim freien Reproduzieren im späten Grundschulalter [The adaptive quality of cumulative rehearsal activities in free recall during late elementary school years]. Zeitschrift für Entwicklungspsychologie und Pädagogische Psychologie, 37, 184193.

Project Details

Completed Projects
Department: Education and Human Development
2006 – 2016