Event: Undergraduate Research Symposium
Date: May 18, 2019
Location: UCI Student Center
Presenter: Angelica Sheen
Mentor: Susanne Jaeggi
Title: Socioeconomic Effects on Cognitive Training Progress and Engagement in Children
Working memory (WM) is crucial for a child’s learning and development, and research shows a correlation between environment and brain development, so a family’s socioeconomic status (SES) could play a role in a child’s WM performance. This study investigates a tablet-based cognitive training intervention's efficacy across three kindergarten classrooms, but it was potentially at risk for the Matthew’s Effect, where high SES participants would receive proportionally higher gains than their lower SES counterparts would. Thus, we investigate whether SES plays a significant role in their cognitive training outcomes. Participants (n=43) played the ten-minute training game for ten sessions. Their demographic information was used create an SES “score” consistent with Hollingshead methods, including mother’s education and family income, and controlling for race and gender. Participants on average improved their scores by 24% from the first session to the last, and further analysis revealed that the mean growth scores between SES groups were not significantly different (p=.88; BF10 =0.304). Since WM is such a vital part of development, equal learning opportunity across platforms and interventions is imperative; this study concludes that in this case, equal growth opportunity has been established.