Written Language Comprehension in Younger and Older Adults This study examined the effects of text genre and repeated reading on written language comprehension in younger (M = 21 years) and older (M = 72 years) healthy adults (N = 54). Participants verified four text-based statements (i.e., explicit, implicit, contradictory, and elaborated) after reading expository, narrative, and procedural texts. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1998
Written Language Comprehension in Younger and Older Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joyce L. Harris
    The University of Memphis Tennessee
  • Wendy A. Rogers
    The University of Georgia Athens
  • Constance D. Qualls
    The University of Memphis Tennessee
  • Contact author: Joyce L. Harris, PhD, The University of Memphis, Audiology and Speech Pathology, 807 Jefferson Avenue, Memphis, TN 38105.
    Contact author: Joyce L. Harris, PhD, The University of Memphis, Audiology and Speech Pathology, 807 Jefferson Avenue, Memphis, TN 38105.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Normal Language Processing / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1998
Written Language Comprehension in Younger and Older Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1998, Vol. 41, 603-617. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4103.603
History: Received February 4, 1997 , Accepted September 15, 1997
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1998, Vol. 41, 603-617. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4103.603
History: Received February 4, 1997; Accepted September 15, 1997

This study examined the effects of text genre and repeated reading on written language comprehension in younger (M = 21 years) and older (M = 72 years) healthy adults (N = 54). Participants verified four text-based statements (i.e., explicit, implicit, contradictory, and elaborated) after reading expository, narrative, and procedural texts. Verification accuracy was comparable for both age groups; however, text genre, statement-type, and repeated reading produced significant effects. Expository passages, explicit and implicit statements, and repeated reading yielded superior results. Procedural passages and contradictory and elaborated statements yielded less accurate results. Statement-types invoked multiple levels of cognitive representation across text genres and age groups. Overall, reading time was significantly faster for younger adults, and readingtimes were significantly faster for both age groups during the repeated reading trial. Text genre also influenced reading time, with expository passages read faster than narrative and procedural passages. These findings suggest theappreciable influences of text genre and repeated reading on measures of text processing and comprehension in healthy adults, irrespective of age.

Acknowledgments
The authors express appreciation to Dr. Arthur C. Graesser for invaluable consultative assistance and for the use of texts from his earlier text-processing research. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the computer programming support provided by Joe Matesich. This research was sponsored by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (National Institutes of Health) Grant No. P50 AG11715 under the auspices of the Center for Applied Cognitive Research on Aging (an Edward R. Roybal Center for Research on Applied Gerontology).
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access