The present study aimed to examine the role of logical reasoning in the relation between lexical quality and reading comprehension in 146 fourth grade Dutch children. We assessed their standardized reading comprehension measure, along with their decoding efficiency and vocabulary as measures of lexical quality, syllogistic reasoning as measure of (verbal) logical reasoning, and nonverbal reasoning as a control measure. Syllogistic reasoning was divided into a measure tapping basic, coherence inferencing skill using logical syllogisms, and a measure tapping elaborative inferencing skill using indeterminate syllogisms. Results showed that both types of syllogisms partly mediated the relation between lexical quality and reading comprehension, but also had a unique additional effect on reading comprehension. The indirect effect of lexical quality on reading comprehension via syllogisms was driven by vocabulary knowledge. It is concluded that measures of syllogistic reasoning account for higher-order thinking processes that are needed to make inferences in reading comprehension. The role of lexical quality appears to be pivotal in explaining the variation in reading comprehension both directly and indirectly via syllogistic reasoning.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 5, 2016
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