Inferential processes in 8 to10 years old children: New factors which may explain development?

Inferential processes in 8 to10 years old children: New factors which may explain development?

First Author: Helene Guinet -- Université Paris 8
Additional authors/chairs: 
Carine Royer; Hélène Labat; Sabine Guéraud
Keywords: Reading comprehension, Inference, children
Abstract / Summary: 

The presented study investigates reading comprehension ability, with a more focused interest on inferential processes development. More specifically, it aimed at exploring inferences ability development within the RI-Val framework (Cook & O’Brien, 2015). Within this model, two factors contribute to inference production in adults’ readers: (1) ease of access to information in memory and (2) coherence threshold (O’Brien & Cook, 2016). The purpose of the designed experiment was to explore whether those two factors may explain inference ability development.431 eight to ten years old children (218 of 3rdgrade and 213 of 4thgrade) from Paris and surrounding areas - selected among 670 children by quantitative pre-tests assessing word decoding, comprehension, and non-verbal reasoning –were asked to read 32 experimental passages that lead to the production of a specific inference. Ease of access was manipulated by varying the strength of contextual support towards the expected inference (weak vs. strong), whereas coherence threshold by varying reading comprehension goals(low vs. high). Two on-line procedures were used to evaluate inference production: a lexical decision task andan inconsistency paradigm (Albrecht & O’Brien, 1993). We expect inference production to be mainly impacted by ease of access to information in memory for the youngest children whereas an increased weight of coherence threshold should be observed for the oldest.Data have been collected but analyses are still in progress. Results of two types of analyses will be presented:ANOVAs to evaluate the main effect of both factors and whether they interact, and multiple regression analyses to assess the weight of each of the factor on the probability to produce inferences. The findings should contribute to improve our knowledge on how children acquired reading comprehension abilities as well as enable a deeper understanding of difficulties that children encounter when learning to comprehend a text.