Modeling the relationship among reading comprehension, intelligence, socioeconomic status, and neuropsychological functions: The mediating role of executive functions

Helena Vellinho Corso, Jennifer Grace Cromley, Tania Sperb, Jerusa Fumagalli Salles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Prior research on the effects of socioeconomic status (SES) and intelligence on reading comprehension has considered only the direct effects of these predictors. However, both theory and empirical research suggest that variables such as working memory, attention, and response inhibition—all components of executive function—may mediate the effects of SES and nonverbal intelligence on reading comprehension. In the present study, we use test norming data from 110 Brazilian children in 4th through 6th grades to test various measurement models for executive function and to test a structural model in which executive function and nonverbal IQ or both partially or fully mediate the effects of SES on reading comprehension. The best-fitting measurement model suggested a single executive function factor. We then test structural models that include partial and full mediation of the effects of SES on reading comprehension. Effects of SES were fully mediated by executive function. Furthermore, nonverbal IQ had no effect on reading comprehension. We close with implications for improving malleable executive function skills— especially in low-SES populations—as a means to improve reading comprehension and thereby improve academic achievement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-45
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology and Neuroscience
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Keywords

  • Executive function
  • Intelligence
  • Reading comprehension
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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