Text-Processing Differences in Adolescent Adequate and Poor Comprehenders Reading Accessible and Challenging Narrative and Informational Text


Based on the analysis of 620 think-aloud verbal protocols from students in grades 7, 9, and 11, this study examined students’ conscious engagement in inference generation, paraphrasing, verbatim text repetition, and monitoring while reading narrative or informational texts that were either at or above the students’ current reading levels. Students were randomly assigned to read informational or narrative text, and each student read two texts in their assigned genre—one accessible and one challenging. The research question addressed the combinations of text processes that best differentiated four groups of readers: (1) adequate comprehenders who read narrative and (2) informational text and (3) poor comprehenders who read narrative and (4) informational text. Canonical discriminant analysis revealed that the four groups were best differentiated by two latent, underlying functions related to (a) a combination of inference generation in accessible text and paraphrasing in both accessible and difficult text (on-level inference/paraphrasing) and (b) monitoring in both accessible and difficult text (monitoring). Poor comprehenders who read informational text were significantly lower than the other three groups on on-level inference/paraphrasing. Poor comprehenders in both genres were significantly lower on monitoring than adequate comprehenders who read informational text. A second canonical discriminant analysis further examining the effects of text difficulty identified one latent function primarily explained by inference generation (inference). Text difficulty had a significant impact on adequate comprehenders’ inference in narrative text. Implications for research and practice are discussed.


Denton, C. A., Enos, M., York, M. J., Francis, D. J., Barnes, M. A., Kulesz, P. A., . . . Carter, S. (2015). Text processing differences in adolescent adequate and poor comprehenders reading accessible and challenging narrative and informational text. Reading Research Quarterly50(4), 393–416. doi:10.1002/rrq.105