Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Susan A. Brady

Abstract

This study investigated the relationships between attention, reading and reading-related measures, and oral language abilities in young adulthood. The majority of studies have focused on younger participants and have used self-report measures of attention. In the present study, a more objective, behavioral measure of attention was used. Factor analyses and structural equation modeling were performed to examine whether the data supported the Simple Theory (Gough & Tunmer, 1986) in this age group and whether some of the variance in reading performance is accounted for by attention. The conventional Simple Theory proposes that reading comprehension performance is the product of decoding and listening comprehension skills and both skills are necessary for reading comprehension. Findings of the current study did not indicate that attentional skills helped explain individual differences in reading comprehension. That is, performance on the attention measures did not significantly correlate with reading, reading-related or oral language performance, nor did they account for additional variance in predicting reading comprehension abilities. Potential explanations for these results, as well as limitations of the present study, are discussed.

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