Working memory (WM) includes short-term storage and executive processing of information. WM has been suggested to be one of the key concepts to explain individual differences in fluid intelligence (Gf). However, only a few studies have investigated the association of the two different aspects of WM in relation to Gf. Furthermore, even fewer studies have included children. Therefore, we first investigated the inter-relations between the WM aspects (verbal and visual-spatial storage, verbal and visual-spatial executive processing). Second, we explored the relation between a general WM factor and Gf. Third, we analyzed the relations between the different WM aspects and Gf while we controlled for common variance among all WM tasks. Nine- to 11-year olds had to solve simple and complex span tasks. Correlations and structural equation modeling techniques were used to examine these relations. Most inter-relations among simple and complex spans were found to be substantial and positive. The general WM factor was related to Gf. Furthermore, after controlling for common variance among all WM tasks, individual differences in verbal storage, visual-spatial storage and verbal processing still uniquely related to Gf. Visual-spatial processing, however, was not related to Gf. Results are discussed in terms of underlying mechanisms.
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