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  • 12MInfVocab_Final_May2017

    Rights statement: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11145-017-9752-2

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From words to text: Inference making mediates the role of vocabulary in children's reading comprehension

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Reading and Writing
Issue number8
Volume30
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)1773-1788
Publication statusPublished
Early online date3/06/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We examined the relationship between inference making, vocabulary knowledge, and verbal working memory on children’s reading comprehension in 62 6th graders (aged 12). The effect of vocabulary knowledge on reading comprehension was predicted to be partly mediated by inference making for two reasons: Inference making often taps the semantic relations among words, and the precise word meanings in texts are selected by readers on the basis of context. All independent variables were significantly and moderately correlated with reading comprehension. In support of our prediction, the link between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension was significantly mediated by inference making even when verbal working memory was controlled. An alternative mediation hypothesis (vocabulary as a mediator of inference making) was not supported by the data. The study replicates and extends the findings of earlier work (Cromley & Azevedo, 2007; Segers & Verhoeven, 2016; Ahmed et al., 2016).

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The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11145-017-9752-2