The relation between executive functioning, reaction time, naming speed, and single word reading in children with typical development and language impairments

Messer, David; Henry, Lucy A. and Nash, Gilly (2016). The relation between executive functioning, reaction time, naming speed, and single word reading in children with typical development and language impairments. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 86(3) pp. 412–428.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12115

Abstract

Background Few investigations have examined the relationship between a comprehensive range of executive functioning (EF) abilities and reading.
Aims Our investigation identified components of EF that independently predicted single word reading, and determined whether their predictive role remained when additional variables were included in the regression analyses. This provided information about the EF processes that are related to reading, and the unity and diversity of EF.
Sample This study consisted of 160 children: 88 were typically developing with no language difficulties; 72 had language impairments.
Method The assessments involved decoding, 10 measures of EF, reaction time, naming speed, non-verbal and verbal age-equivalent scores.
Results and conclusions In the first regression analysis, which only concerned the EF variables, the following verbal forms of EF had significant relationships with decoding: working memory, fluency, planning, and inhibition. Further regression analyses included additional predictor variables: reaction time, naming speed, and age-equivalent scores. These analyses indicated that most of the EF variables continued to predict decoding even when entered with competitor variables. Furthermore, after the entry of EF variables, there were no group differences in decoding (typical vs. language difficulties). We discuss the contribution of EF and other variables to reading abilities.

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