Effects of fluency, oral language, and executive function on reading comprehension performance

Laurie E. Cutting, April Materek, Carolyn A.S. Cole, Terry M. Levine, E. Mark Mahone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Reading disability (RD) typically consists of deficits in word reading accuracy and/or reading comprehension. While it is well known that word reading accuracy deficits lead to comprehension deficits (general reading disability, GRD), less is understood about neuropsychological profiles of children who exhibit adequate word reading accuracy but nevertheless develop specific reading comprehension deficits (S-RCD). Establishing the underlying neuropsychological processes associated with different RD types is essential for ultimately understanding core neurobiological bases of reading comprehension. To this end, the present study investigated isolated and contextual word fluency, oral language, and executive function on reading comprehension performance in 56 9- to 14-year-old children [21 typically developing (TD), 18 GRD, and 17 S-RCD]. Results indicated that TD and S-RCD participants read isolated words at a faster rate than participants with GRD; however, both RD groups had contextual word fluency and oral language weaknesses. Additionally, S-RCD participants showed prominent weaknesses in executive function. Implications for understanding the neuropsychological bases for reading comprehension are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-54
Number of pages21
JournalAnnals of Dyslexia
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2009



  • Executive function
  • Fluency
  • Oral language
  • Reading comprehension
  • Reading disabilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Speech and Hearing

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