A latent variable analysis of the contribution of executive function to adult readers’ comprehension of science text: the roles of vocabulary ability and level of comprehension

D. Jake Follmer, Rayne A. Sperling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Emerging evidence suggests that executive function plays an important role in adult readers’ understanding of text. This study examined the contribution of executive function to comprehension of expository science text among adult readers, as well as the role of vocabulary ability in the relation between executive function and text comprehension. The roles of additional reader characteristics, including age, reading time, prior knowledge, and vocabulary ability, in comprehension were also examined. Using structural equation modeling, a latent executive function factor significantly predicted comprehension after accounting for age, reading time, prior knowledge, and vocabulary ability. Vocabulary ability mediated the relation between executive function and both lower-level and higher-level reading comprehension. Executive function contributed more strongly to lower-level compared with higher-level comprehension of the text. Implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-403
Number of pages27
JournalReading and Writing
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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