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The hypothesis that as children become older they are increasingly likely to make efficient use of accessible retrieval cues was examined. Children of grades 1, 3, and 6 were given a task in which recall items (e. g., bear) were presented with conceptually related picture cues (e. g., zoo). The number of Ss who spontaneously used these picture cues to retrieve target items increased as a function of age. In addition, when older Ss used retrieval cues, they tended to recall more items than younger spontaneous cue users. A highly directive cuing procedure (directive cue) was needed for the cues to be facilitative at grades 1 and 3. In contrast, the mere availability of the cues during retrieval was as effective as the directive-cue condition in enhancing grade 6 Ss' recall scores.
Child Development © 1974 Society for Research in Child Development