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English summaries (04/2012)

Irma Jaakkola, Kaisa Kanerva & Minna Kyttälä

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.

Keywords: working memory, children, development of working memory, working memory assessment


Jukka Valkonen, Vilma Hänninen & Olavi Lindfors

Masculinity in men's narratives of depression

Typical symptoms of depression are incompatible with the ideals of traditional masculinity. In this study, the views of connections between depression and masculinity of men who have sought psychotherapy for their depression are examined. The data consist of interviews conducted before therapy and narrative analysis has been applied. Several connections were found between manhood and depression. Sometimes depression was seen as a consequence of failing to fulfill the demands of masculinity. Sometimes, in contrast, depression was seen to threaten their ability to maintain the masculine behavioral style. Moreover, depression had forced some men to reassess their values and to question the demands of traditional masculinity. Finally, some men saw that masculine activities helped them to live with depression and to recover from it. The results show that the concept of masculinity is relevant in attempts to understand men's depression and that the relationships between depression and masculinity are manifold.

Keywords: masculinity, depression