161 | Reading comprehension and cognitive skills in primary school children from different socioeducative contexts

Cognition, Behavior, and Memory

Author: angel javier tabullo | Email: angeljtabullo@gmail.com

Juan Ignacio Ruiz Díaz , Rodríguez Karina Viviana , Martín Yanel Cecilia , Delicio Fabiana , Tabullo Ángel Javier , , Gasaneo Gustavo

2° Departamento de Física, Universidad Nacional del Sur – IFISUR, Bahía Blanca, Argentina.
3° Centro Interdisciplinario para el Desarrollo Psicomotor, Bahía Blanca, Argentina
4° Facultad de Educación, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo

Plenty of evidence suggests that socioeconomic factors (such as mother education or unsatisfied basic needs) have an impact on children’s neurocognitive development, leading to differences in cognitive abilities, language outcomes and reading achievement. However, the specific effects of socioeducational context (SE) have been less studied. The following study aimed to compare the cognitive skills of primary school children from different SE, and to examine their contribution to reading comprehension. Our study sample consisted on 358 children (53.4% girls, Mean age: 9.24 ± 1.20 years) from the 2nd to the 5th grade. According to the Educational Opportunities scale, 43% of them belonged to a “low” SE, and the rest to a “medium” context. The children completed a series of computerized tests: selective attention (“Registered Behavior Tool”), shifting (“TMTB”), fluid intelligence (Raven) and reading comprehension (“LEE test”). Cognitive skills improved with grade and SE, while reading comprehension increased with grade and was better among medium (vs low) SE third graders. A path analysis model showed that selective attention and fluid intelligence significantly predicted comprehension and partially mediated the effects of grade and SE. Our findings indicate that: 1) SE predicts cognitive development and reading achievement in primary school, 2) this last effect is partially mediated by SE-related individual differences in selective attention and fluid intelligence.