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It is not clear from research whether, or to what extent, reading comprehension is impaired in adults who have learning disabilities (LD). The influence of perceptual organization (PO) and phonological awareness (PA) on reading comprehension was investigated. PO and PA are cognitive functions that have been examined in previous research for their roles in nonverbal LD and phonological dyslexia, respectively. Nonverbal tests of PO and non-reading tests of PA were administered to a sample of adults with postsecondary education. Approximately two thirds of the sample had previously been diagnosed as having LD. In a multiple regression analysis, tests of PO and PA were used to predict scores for tests of reading comprehension and mechanics. Despite the nonverbal nature of the perceptual organizational test stimuli, PO strongly predicted reading comprehension. Tests of PA predicted decoding and reading speed. Results were interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that integrative processes usually characterized as nonverbal were nonetheless used by readers with and without disabilities to understand text. The study's findings have implications for understanding the reading of adults with learning disabilities, and the nature of reading comprehension in general.
Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Annals of dyslexia
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The interference of one perceptual stimulus with another causing a decrease or lessening in perceptual effectiveness.
A cognitive disorder characterized by an impaired ability to comprehend written and printed words or phrases despite intact vision. This condition may be developmental or acquired. Developmental dyslexia is marked by reading achievement that falls substantially below that expected given the individual's chronological age, measured intelligence, and age-appropriate education. The disturbance in reading significantly interferes with academic achievement or with activities of daily living that require reading skills. (From DSM-IV)
A perceptual phenomenon used by Gestalt psychologists to demonstrate that events in one part of the perceptual field may affect perception in another part.
An individual's objective and insightful awareness of the feelings and behavior of another person. It should be distinguished from sympathy, which is usually nonobjective and noncritical. It includes caring, which is the demonstration of an awareness of and a concern for the good of others. (From Bioethics Thesaurus, 1992)
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