Cognitive functions and reading speed in schoolchildren with typical development and mild mental retardation

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Leading Researcher
Federal State Budget Scientific Institution “Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of Education”
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Address: Moscow, Mokhovaya, 9, 4, Russia
Journal namePsikhologicheskii zhurnal
EditionVolume 42 Issue 6

The article presents the results of an empirical study of the relationship between indicators of cognitive functioning and the success in reading in groups of schoolchildren with typical development and mild mental retardation (F70.0; ICD — 10). Information processing speed, visuospatial working memory and non-verbal intelligence were considered as indicators of cognitive development. To assess the reading speed, a check was used on the technique of reading texts in accordance with the Federal State Standard of General Education. The study involved 212 schoolchildren (39% girls) enrolled in Grades 1 — 9 of (1) a public school implementing programs of a special (correctional) school of type VIII and (2) a public school. The results revealed that age-related changes in the success of reading during compulsory schooling are characterized by a nonlinear pattern in children with typical development and a linear pattern in children with mild mental retardation. The differences between schoolchildren with typical and atypical development in reading speed increase from Grades 1 to 7, and then from Grades 7 to 9 may decrease. The regression analysis confirmed the differences in the direct effects of the influence of non-verbal intelligence, information processing speed and visuospatial working memory on the reading speed. These differences in effects depend on the type of mental development and the level of schooling. Mediation analysis showed that no more than 17% of the differences in the success of reading between schoolchildren with typical and atypical development can explain by cognitive functioning.

Keywordsnative language reading, information processing speed, visuospatial working memory, non-verbal intelligence, typical development, mild mental retardation, school age, regression analysis, mediation analysis
AcknowledgmentStudy was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project № 17-29-09127) and Russian Science Foundation (project № 17-78-30028).
Publication date16.12.2021
Number of characters29606
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