From Bibliophile to Sesquipedalian: Modeling the Role of Reading Experience in Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension


Purpose We investigated the roles of leisure reading and word reading ability in vocabulary and reading comprehension development in 598 adolescents at ages 10, 11, and 12 (285 girls, 313 boys). Method Structural equation modeling was used to test whether word reading was associated with vocabulary and reading comprehension: a) directly; b) indirectly via leisure reading; or c) both. Results We found both direct and indirect effects of word reading on vocabulary: word reading ability directly predicted outcomes, and also predicted the amount of leisure reading, which in turn predicted vocabulary. For reading comprehension we observed direct but not indirect effects of word reading. As expected, vocabulary and reading comprehension outcomes were strongly correlated. Conclusion Our findings demonstrate the direct effect of word reading ability in predicting vocabulary and reading comprehension, and reveal a crucial mediating role of leisure reading in the development of vocabulary.

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Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > Clinical and Systems Neuroscience
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Vision, Hearing and Language
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychology (miscellaneous),Education
Publication ISSN: 1532-799X
Last Modified: 27 May 2024 07:38
Date Deposited: 05 May 2022 12:15
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Related URLs: https://www.tan ... 0888438.2022.20 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-04-26
Published Online Date: 2022-04-26
Accepted Date: 2022-04-01
Authors: van der Kleij, Sanne W. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-2749-3015)
Burgess, Adrian P. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-0977-8105)
Ricketts, Jessie
Shapiro, Laura R. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-3276-457X)

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