Are the individual differences in reading decoding and reading comprehension accounted for gender and socio-economic status? An analysis on students from first to eight grade.

Are the individual differences in reading decoding and reading comprehension accounted for gender and socio-economic status? An analysis on students from first to eight grade.

First Author: BARBARA CARRETTI -- University of Padova
Additional authors/chairs: 
Francesco Viola; Jessica Cesaretto; Cesare Cornoldi
Keywords: Reading comprehension, Decoding, SES, Gender Differences, Reading development
Abstract / Summary: 

Reading ability has always been viewed as critical to academic and everyday life success. Research on reading has attempted to look for components that affect reading performance and individual differences. Beyond cognitive factors, some studies have analysed the role of gender and socio-economic status, with results not always consistent. The aim of this study was to investigate gender differences and the influence of socio-economic status on reading ability (decoding and reading comprehension) taking advantage from the MT study conducted on a large sample of Italian students (over 8000) from first to eight grade. Tasks assessing text passage reading decoding and comprehension were administered to obtain multiple measures of reading ability. Results showed no effect of gender neither on reading decoding or comprehension measures, however differential results emerged when the socio-economic status was considered: in the case of reading comprehension its influence was always significant across the grades considered; in contrast in the case of reading decoding, performance was influenced by socio-economic status only from the second grade.