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Examining reading comprehension text and question answering time differences in university students with and without a history of reading difficulties

Abstract

The current study aimed to examine performance times during text reading and question answering of students with and without a history of reading difficulties. Forty-three university students with a history of reading difficulties (HRD) were compared to 124 university students without a history of reading difficulties on measures of word and nonword reading rate, text reading rate and comprehension, and question answering times. Results showed that students with HRD demonstrated slower word, nonword, and text reading rates than their peers, but had comparable reading comprehension scores. Results also showed that students with HRD took longer to answer specific types of questions even when reading rate was controlled. Specifically, when word reading rate was controlled, students with HRD took longer to answer vocabulary, literal, inferential, and background knowledge questions. When text reading rate was controlled, they still took longer to answer literal, inferential, and background knowledge questions. These results suggest that students with a history of reading difficulties require extra time to complete reading comprehension measures for reasons other than just slower word and text reading rate. Findings of this study have implications for supporting university students with a history of reading difficulties.

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Correspondence to Rauno Parrila.

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Hebert, M., Zhang, X. & Parrila, R. Examining reading comprehension text and question answering time differences in university students with and without a history of reading difficulties. Ann. of Dyslexia 68, 15–24 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11881-017-0153-7

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Keywords

  • Reading comprehension
  • Reading difficulties
  • Reading rate
  • University students