Simon P Tiffin-Richards and Sascha Schroeder (2018)

The development of wrap-up processes in text reading: A study of children’s eye movements

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 44:1051-1063.

Reading comprehension is the product of constructing a coherent mental model of a text. Although some of the processes that are necessary to construct such a mental model are executed incrementally, others are deferred to the end of the clause or sentence, where integration processing is wrapped up before the reader progresses further in the text. In this longitudinal study of 65 German-speaking children across Grades 2, 3, and 4, we investigated the development of wrap-up processes at clause and sentence boundaries by tracking the children’s eye movements while they read age-appropriate texts. Our central finding was that children in Grade 2 showed strong wrap-up effects that then slowly decreased across school grades. Children in Grades 3 and 4 also increasingly used clause and sentence boundaries to initiate regressions and rereading. Finally, children in Grade 2 were shown to be significantly disrupted in their reading at line breaks, which are inherent in continuous text. This disruption decreased as the children progressed to Grades 3 and 4. Overall, our results show that children exhibit an adultlike pattern of wrap-up effects by the time they reach Grade 4. We discuss this developmental trajectory in relation to models of text processing and mechanisms of eye-movement control. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)

Accession Number: 2018-09033-001. Other Journal Title: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Tiffin-Richards, Simon P.; Reading Education and Development, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany. Release Date: 20180305. Publication Type: Journal (0100), Peer Reviewed Journal (0110). Format Covered: Electronic. Document Type: Journal Article. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Eye Movements; Reading Ability; Reading Comprehension; Reading Development. Minor Descriptor: Mental Models; Sentences; Students. Classification: Academic Learning & Achievement (3550). Population: Human (10); Male (30); Female (40). Location: Germany. Age Group: Childhood (birth-12 yrs) (100); School Age (6-12 yrs) (180); Adulthood (18 yrs & older) (300). Tests & Measures: Revised Salzburg Reading and Spelling Test. Methodology: Empirical Study; Longitudinal Study; Qualitative Study. Publication History: Accepted Date: Sep 27, 2017; Revised Date: Sep 27, 2017; Mar 1, 2017. Copyright Statement: American Psychological Association. 2018.