Reading Comprehension Deficits in Adolescents: Addressing Underlying Language Abilities Purpose The purpose of this article is to discuss reading comprehension deficits in adolescents in relation to their word reading skills and lexical and syntactic development. Although reading comprehension strategies (e.g., “Find the main idea”) are often recommended, it is argued that before these can be effective, students' underlying language ... Research Note
Research Note  |   April 20, 2017
Reading Comprehension Deficits in Adolescents: Addressing Underlying Language Abilities
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marilyn A. Nippold
    University of Oregon, Eugene
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Marilyn A. Nippold: nippold@uoregon.edu
  • Editor: Shelley Gray
    Editor: Shelley Gray×
  • Associate Editor: Cynthia Puranik
    Associate Editor: Cynthia Puranik×
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Note
Research Note   |   April 20, 2017
Reading Comprehension Deficits in Adolescents: Addressing Underlying Language Abilities
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2017, Vol. 48, 125-131. doi:10.1044/2016_LSHSS-16-0048
History: Received June 8, 2016 , Accepted November 1, 2016 , Revised September 26, 2017
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2017, Vol. 48, 125-131. doi:10.1044/2016_LSHSS-16-0048
History: Received June 8, 2016; Accepted November 1, 2016; Revised September 26, 2017

Purpose The purpose of this article is to discuss reading comprehension deficits in adolescents in relation to their word reading skills and lexical and syntactic development. Although reading comprehension strategies (e.g., “Find the main idea”) are often recommended, it is argued that before these can be effective, students' underlying language deficits should be addressed.

Method Data from a longitudinal study are analyzed to determine the relationship between reading comprehension, word reading, and lexical and syntactic development in adolescents.

Results The findings indicate that poor reading comprehension in adolescents is predicted by concurrent deficits in word reading ability, lexical development, and syntactic development.

Conclusion When poor comprehension is accompanied by deficits in word reading ability and/or lexical and syntactic development, intervention should target the underlying areas of deficiency. Studies designed to improve reading comprehension in adolescents are needed.

Acknowledgments
Grant 2P50DC02746-06A1 (awarded to the author) from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders supported the Iowa Project. The author expresses sincere appreciation to the granting agency, the children who participated in the project, and numerous research assistants who collected and managed the data. Some results reported in this article were presented at the “International Conference on Specific Language Impairment: Diagnosis, Prognosis, Intervention,” organized by the Educational Research Institute, Warsaw, Poland, 2012, and at the “Speech Pathology Research Symposium,” John Hunter Medical Research Institute, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, Australia, 2013.
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