Kanniainen, Asko,Tolvanen, Aro, Anmarkrud & Leppänen (2021): Assessing reading and online research comprehension: Do difficulties in attention and executive function matter?
I: Learning and Individual Differences. Online first, Open Access.
Laura Kanniainen, Carita Kiili, Asko Tolvanen, Mikko Aro, Øistein Anmarkrud og Paavo H.T. Leppänen
This study evaluated the relation between sixth graders' (N = 426) teacher-rated difficulties in attention and executive function (EF) and their comprehension skills. Reading comprehension was assessed with a multiple-choice task and online research and comprehension (ORC) with a problem-solving task. The analyses were controlled for gender, reading fluency and nonverbal reasoning. To investigate differences in students' performance between the tasks, comprehension skills in the multiple-choice task were also controlled for in the ORC task. Structural equation models showed that teacher-rated attention and EF difficulties were related to students' performance more in the problem-solving task than in the multiple-choice task. After controlling for all the background variables, these difficulties explained 9% of the variance of ORC performance in girls and 4% in boys. These results indicate that for students with attention and EF difficulties the ORC task was more challenging than the reading comprehension task.