Attention plays a critical role in information processing. Its adequate functioning is required for correct development of complex cognitive abilities and regular scholastic progress. Children with attention deficits often show difficulties in reading, writing, and arithmetic. The present study aimed to investigate the interactions between reading abilities, overall scholastic performance as rated by teachers, and components of attention: visual reaction time, simple immediate span of attention, and selectivity. The sample was composed of 98 students in the first and the second years of public junior high school (age range 11-14 years, M=12.6, SD=1.2); i.e. with expected already well-established reading abilities. Reading abilities have been evaluated with Comprehension, Accuracy, and Speed tests. Assessment of overall scholastic performance of each subject was obtained by means of teachers’ ratings. Simple Reaction Time, Digit Span and Color Word Interference, included in a multitask computerized test, were used for the assessment of the attention. The data analysis confirmed the hypothesis that the reading abilities are strongly predictive of the Scholastic Assessment rated by the teachers. High scholastic ratings were correlated with Reading Speed and Accuracy rather than Reading Comprehension. Poor readers showed worse performances on the Digit Span Test, that measures simple immediate span of attention. Good and poor readers obtained a similar score in the Color Word Interference task. This observation seems to be in contrast with the more common interpretation of this effect, suggesting that reading is an automatic process and therefore the semantic dimension overcomes the controlled perceptual one. According to others studies an alternative explanation is suggested. In conclusion, the results of the present study confirm the hypothesis of a strong link between reading speed and accuracy, scholastic assessment as rated by teachers, simple immediate span of attention and visual reaction time. KEYWORDS: attention, reading ability, Stroop effect, digit span, good and poor readers

Attention and reading skills

COMMODARI, Elena;
2005-01-01

Abstract

Attention plays a critical role in information processing. Its adequate functioning is required for correct development of complex cognitive abilities and regular scholastic progress. Children with attention deficits often show difficulties in reading, writing, and arithmetic. The present study aimed to investigate the interactions between reading abilities, overall scholastic performance as rated by teachers, and components of attention: visual reaction time, simple immediate span of attention, and selectivity. The sample was composed of 98 students in the first and the second years of public junior high school (age range 11-14 years, M=12.6, SD=1.2); i.e. with expected already well-established reading abilities. Reading abilities have been evaluated with Comprehension, Accuracy, and Speed tests. Assessment of overall scholastic performance of each subject was obtained by means of teachers’ ratings. Simple Reaction Time, Digit Span and Color Word Interference, included in a multitask computerized test, were used for the assessment of the attention. The data analysis confirmed the hypothesis that the reading abilities are strongly predictive of the Scholastic Assessment rated by the teachers. High scholastic ratings were correlated with Reading Speed and Accuracy rather than Reading Comprehension. Poor readers showed worse performances on the Digit Span Test, that measures simple immediate span of attention. Good and poor readers obtained a similar score in the Color Word Interference task. This observation seems to be in contrast with the more common interpretation of this effect, suggesting that reading is an automatic process and therefore the semantic dimension overcomes the controlled perceptual one. According to others studies an alternative explanation is suggested. In conclusion, the results of the present study confirm the hypothesis of a strong link between reading speed and accuracy, scholastic assessment as rated by teachers, simple immediate span of attention and visual reaction time. KEYWORDS: attention, reading ability, Stroop effect, digit span, good and poor readers
attention; reading abilities; stroop effect
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/55619
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 24
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 21
social impact