Objective: Recently attention has begun to focus on more clearly identifying the unique cognitive skills that contribute to reading comprehension. Working memory (Tighe & Schatschneider, 2014), sentence span (Cain, Oakhill, & Bryant, 2004), and attention (Shaywitz & Shaywitz, 2008) have all been shown to contribute to reading comprehension. Our study was conducted to replicate these findings and to compare the three predictors to determine which may be the best Method: Data were collected as part of a larger, NIH/NICHD-funded study (R03HD048752, R15HD065627) on a community sample. Children, ages 8 to 12 years, with reading disability (n = 31) or typically developing controls (n = 50) were administered the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – 4th edition (WISC-IV), select subtests from the NEPSY including Sentence Repetition (SR), as well as select subtests from the Woodcock-Johnson III including Passage Comprehension (PC) and Letter-Word Identification (LWI). Additionally, parental report of attention problems was obtained via the BASC-2. Results: Hierarchical multiple regression was performed to predict PC, controlling for LWI (Block 1; ΔR2 = .23, p < .001), with Letter-Number Sequencing (LNS) from the WISC-IV, SR, and BASC Attention Problems subscale as predictors (Block 2; ΔR2 = .45, p < .001). The equation was significant: adjusted R2 = .22, F(4,78) = 40.61, p < .001. Results indicate LNS, Beta = .566, t(74) = 5.645, p < .001, and SR, Beta = .219, t(74) = 2.337, p = .022 positively predict PC. Attention Problems does not significantly predict PC, Beta = −.104, t(74) = −1.496, p = .139. Conclusion: Both sentence span and verbal working memory are important predictors of reading comprehension, even when controlling basic reading ability. Although attention problems was not a predictor, further research is needed with experimental measures of sustained attention.
Predictors of Reading Comprehension in Children
Arch Clin Neuropsychol (2015) 30 (6): 537.
25 August 2015