Reading comprehension components and their relation to writing

Laura K. Allen, Erica L. Snow, Scott A. Crossley, G. Tanner Jackson, Danielle McNamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Within the educational community, research on student literacy often combines reading and writing measures, as they are presumed to draw on similar skills and background knowledge. However, relatively few studies have investigated the underlying cognitive skills required for both activities, and to what extent the required background knowledge and cognitive processes overlap. The current study investigates how individual differences commonly related to reading comprehension ability overlap and contribute to students' writing proficiency. University students ranging from 19 to 37 years old (n = 108) completed assessments to examine their reading comprehension and writing skills, as well as their vocabulary knowledge, lower-level cognitive skills (working memory), and higher-level cognitive skills (text memory, text inferencing, knowledge access, knowledge integration). Results indicated that reading comprehension was strongly related to both vocabulary knowledge and the higher-level cognitive skills. Further, writing ability was moderately associated with a subset of the measured variables, namely vocabulary knowledge and the ability to access prior knowledge. These results support the hypothesis that reading comprehension and writing share common knowledge sources and higher-level cognitive skills, although the writing process is much less reliant on these measured variables than reading comprehension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-691
Number of pages29
JournalAnnee Psychologique
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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