This paper describes an exploratory multivariate analysis designed to determine the relative contributions of age, verbal ability, education, reading habits, and recall strategies to the explanation of variation in performance on prose recall tasks among adults. Four hundred twenty-two adults in three age groups - young (18 to 32), middle (40 to 54) and old (62 to 80) - read and recalled in writing two 388-word prose passages and answered questions about their background, reading habits, and recall strategies. Results indicate that a decrease in quantity of recall appears with increasing age, though verbal ability is a better predictor of recall than is age. In addition, a recall strategy factor representing a paragraph-by-paragraph retrieval strategy produces the highest simple correlations with total recall and contributes significantly to the other recall measures.
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