A1 Journal article (refereed)
How Are Practice and Performance Related? Development of Reading From Age 5 to 15 (2021)

van Bergen, E., Vasalampi, K., & Torppa, M. (2021). How Are Practice and Performance Related? Development of Reading From Age 5 to 15. Reading Research Quarterly, 56(3), 415-434. https://doi.org/10.1002/rrq.309

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: van Bergen, Elsje; Vasalampi, Kati; Torppa, Minna

Journal or series: Reading Research Quarterly

ISSN: 1936-2722

eISSN: 0034-0553

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 56

Issue number: 3

Pages range: 415-434

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/rrq.309

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/68400


Does reading a lot lead to better reading skills, or does reading a lot follow from high initial reading skills? The authors present a longitudinal study of how much children choose to read and how well they decode and comprehend texts. This is the first study to examine the codevelopment of print exposure with both fluency and comprehension throughout childhood using autocorrelations. Print exposure was operationalized as children’s amount of independent reading for pleasure. Two hundred children were followed from age 5 to age 15. Print exposure was assessed at ages 5, 7, 8, 9, and 13. Prereading skills were tested at age 5 and reading skills at ages 7, 8, 9, 14, and 15 (the latter with the Programme for International Student Assessment [PISA]). Before children learned to read (i.e., age 5), prereading skills and print exposure were not linked. Path analyses showed that children’s print exposure and reading skills reciprocally influence each other. During the early school years, the effects run from reading fluency to comprehension and print exposure, so from skills to amount. The effect of accumulated practice only emerged in adolescence. Reading fluency, comprehension, and print exposure were all important predictors of age 15 PISA reading comprehension. These findings were largely confirmed by post hoc models with random intercepts. Because foundational reading skills predicted changes in later reading comprehension and print exposure, the authors speculate that intervening decoding difficulties may positively impact exposure to and comprehension of texts. How much children read seems to matter most after the shift from learning to read to reading to learn.

Keywords: reading; literacy; reading comprehension; fluency; children (age groups); reading as recreation; motivation (mental objects); committing oneself; attitudes; children's literature; longitudinal research

Free keywords: decoding; comprehension; motivation/engagement; fluency; developmental theories; attitudes; children’s literature; emergent literacy; longitudinal analysis; path analysis

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:10