Beyond a simple view of RC in adolescence: The role of non-verbal reasoning and reading self-concept

Einat Kleider-Tesler, Mirit Barzilai, Tami Katzir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies on reading comprehension (RC) in adolescents have typically examined either literacy, cognitive, or self-evaluation processes. While much work has focused on each factor separately, less is known about the predictors of RC when taking together those variables as part of a complex model of RC, particularly in adolescents. In this study, we explored a componential approach to predicting reading comprehension in adolescence, including literacy variables, a non-verbal reasoning task, and of self-evaluation variable, specifically whether there are differences in the predictors of RC between good and poor comprehenders. 86 adolescents in tenth grade were given a reading comprehension measure as well as vocabulary and word reading tasks, a non-verbal reasoning task (TONI), and a reading self-concept questionnaire. Findings showed that the strongest predictor of RC in adolescents is vocabulary, followed by word reading. An additional important predictor is the non-verbal reasoning task, beyond vocabulary and reading tasks. Moreover, results indicated that the strongest predictors of comprehension among poor comprehenders were word-reading and the non-verbal reasoning task, while the strongest predictor among good comprehenders was reading self-concept. Our novel result is that the non-verbal reasoning task is a strong predictor in high school, but only for poor comprehenders. This supports previous findings regarding poor comprehenders' difficulties with inference and non-verbal tasks (Nation & Snowling, 1998). In contrast, for good comprehenders unsurprisingly, psychosocial self-evaluation processes (reading self-concept) have a strong influence on their comprehension. Our findings emphasize the importance of vocabulary learning and reading fluency as part of study program as well as cognitive thinking processes that include reasoning and problem-solving, even in adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-156
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

חלק א: מהנעשה בארץ

IHP Publications

  • ihp
  • Ability
  • Adolescence
  • Coming of age
  • Perception
  • Reading
  • Reading comprehension
  • School children
  • Self-evaluation


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