Reading and Writing

, Volume 29, Issue 9, pp 1889–1914 | Cite as

Low-skilled adult readers look like typically developing child readers: a comparison of reading skills and eye movement behavior

  • Adrienne E. Barnes
  • Young-Suk Kim


Adults enrolled in basic education exhibit poor academic performance, often reading at elementary and middle-school levels. The current study investigated the similarities and differences of reading skills and eye movement behavior between a sample of 25 low-skilled adult readers and 25 first grade students matched on word reading skill. t tests for matched pairs found no significant differences on language comprehension, reading comprehension, or eye movement variables. Regression analyses revealed that language comprehension made greater contributions to reading comprehension for adults (verses children) in the simple view of reading model. Processing time (gaze duration) was found to account for unique variance in both passage reading comprehension and sentence comprehension efficiency after controlling for word reading and language skills for adults. For children, processing time was only a significant predictor for sentence comprehension efficiency.


Adult literacy Reading Eye tracking Component skills Reading comprehension 



The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education, through Grant R305F1000027 to Florida State University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Learning Systems InstituteFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.College of Education, Florida Center for Reading ResearchFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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