National and international studies have revealed that significant numbers of adolescents do not adequately comprehend complex texts, impeding their success in school, access to post-secondary learning, and employment opportunities within our increasingly competitive work environment (Biancarosa &Snow, 2004;Kamil, Borman, Dole, Kral, Salingner, &Torgesen, 2008). Thus, the purpose of this application is to request support for five years of mentored research through the NIH Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08) in order to better understand why adolescent readers fail to understand the material they read. The training plan will focus on the following areas: (1) cognitive, developmental, and neuropsychological theories/models of comprehension and learning;the design of basic cognitive experimentation for the purpose of identifying language, text-specific, and domain general cognitive processes that influence language and reading comprehension development (primary mentor: Barnes);(2) the design of theoretically motivated, reliable, and valid measures of text-level cognitive processes [and advanced training in measurement, IRT, multi-level modeling, and experimental design] (mentor: Francis);(3) the integration of this information to design, conduct, and evaluate interventions for adolescent poor comprehenders (mentor: Vaughn);and (4) grant writing and development of a strong publication record (mentor: Fletcher). The research plan has 3 specific aims that will focus on (1) the language, text-level cognitive processes, and neuropsychological processes that underlie reading comprehension, (2) the skills that underlie inference making and the integration of information, and (3) the design of reliable and valid measures of inference making and integration of information.

Public Health Relevance

Reading is an essential component of college and workplace readiness as well as basic health literacy. The proposed research examines the skills important for comprehension of text and for inference making. Assessments for measuring inference making will also be developed.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Clinical Investigator Award (CIA) (K08)
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Application #
Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Miller, Brett
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University of Missouri-Columbia
Schools of Education
United States
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SolĂ­s, Michael; Scammacca, Nancy; Barth, Amy E et al. (2017) Text-based Vocabulary Intervention Training Study: Supporting Fourth Graders with Low Reading Comprehension and Learning Disabilities. Learn Disabil 15:103-115
Barth, Amy E; Elleman, Amy (2017) Evaluating the Impact of a Multistrategy Inference Intervention for Middle-Grade Struggling Readers. Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch 48:31-41
Kavish, Nicholas; Vaughn, Michael G; Cho, Eunsoo et al. (2017) Physiological Arousal and Juvenile Psychopathy: Is Low Resting Heart Rate Associated with Affective Dimensions? Psychiatr Q 88:103-114
Barnes, Marcia A; Stuebing, Karla; Fletcher, Jack M et al. (2016) Cognitive Difficulties in Struggling Comprehenders and their Relation to Reading Comprehension: A Comparison of Group Selection and Regression-Based Models. J Res Educ Eff 9:153-172
Barth, Amy E; Vaughn, Sharon; Capin, Philip et al. (2016) Effects of a Text-processing Comprehension Intervention on Struggling Middle School Readers. Top Lang Disord 36:368-389
Stuebing, Karla K; Barth, Amy E; Trahan, Lisa H et al. (2015) Are Child Cognitive Characteristics Strong Predictors of Responses to Intervention? A Meta-Analysis. Rev Educ Res 85:395-429
Barnes, Marcia A; Ahmed, Yusra; Barth, Amy et al. (2015) The Relation of Knowledge-Text Integration Processes and Reading Comprehension in 7th- to 12th-Grade Students. Sci Stud Read 19:253-272
Barth, Amy E; Barnes, Marcia; Francis, David J et al. (2015) Inferential Processing among Adequate and Struggling Adolescent Comprehenders and Relations to Reading Comprehension. Read Writ 28:587-609
Barth, Amy E; Vaughn, Sharon; McCulley, Elisabeth V (2015) The Effects of Blended Text-Processing and Linguistic Comprehension Interventions Among Struggling Middle-School Readers. Int J Res Learn Disabil 2:2-17
Barth, Amy E; Tolar, Tammy D; Fletcher, Jack M et al. (2014) The Effects of Student and Text Characteristics on the Oral Reading Fluency of Middle-Grade Students. J Educ Psychol 106:162-180

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