Predictors of reading comprehension ability in primary school-aged children who have pragmatic language impairment

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Abstract Purpose: Children who have pragmatic language impairment (CwPLI) have difficulties with the use of language in social contexts and show impairments in above-sentence level language tasks. Previous studies have found that typically developing children’s reading comprehension (RC) is predicted by reading accuracy and spoken sentence level comprehension (SLC). This study explores the predictive ability of these factors and above-sentence level comprehension (ASLC) on RC skills in a group of CwPLI. Method: Sixty nine primary school-aged CwPLI completed a measure of RC along with measures of reading accuracy, spoken SLC and both visual (pictorially presented) and spoken ASLC tasks. Results: Regression analyses showed that reading accuracy was the strongest predictor of RC. Visual ASLC did not explain unique variance in RC on top of spoken SLC. In contrast, a measure of spoken ASLC explained unique variance in RC, independent from that explained by spoken SLC. A regression model with nonverbal intelligence, reading accuracy, spoken SLC and spoken ASLC as predictors explained 74.2% of the variance in RC. Conclusions: Findings suggest that spoken ASLC may measure additional factors that are important for RC success in CwPLI and should be included in routine assessments for language and literacy learning in this group.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in developmental disabilities
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015

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