Do tasks make a difference? Accounting for heterogeneity of performance of children with reading difficulties on tasks of executive function

findings from a meta-analysis

Josephine N. Booth, James Boyle, Steve Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)
110 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Research studies have implicated executive functions in reading difficulties (RD). But while some studies have found children with RD to be impaired on tasks of executive function other studies report unimpaired performance. A meta-analysis was carried out to determine whether these discrepant findings can be accounted for by differences in the tasks of executive function that are utilized. A total of 48 studies comparing the performance on tasks of executive function of children with RD with their typically developing peers were included in the meta-analysis, yielding 180 effect sizes. An overall effect size of 0.57 (SE .03) was obtained, indicating that children with RD have impairments on tasks of executive function. However, effect sizes varied considerably suggesting that the impairment is not uniform. Moderator analysis revealed that task modality and IQ-achievement discrepancy definitions of RD influenced the magnitude of effect; however, the age and gender of participants and the nature of the RD did not have an influence. While the children's RD were associated with executive function impairments, variation in effect size is a product of the assessment task employed, underlying task demands, and definitional criteria.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-176
Number of pages44
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

Fingerprint

Executive Function
Meta-Analysis
Reading
Task Performance and Analysis
Research

Keywords

  • deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • learning disabled readers
  • working memory deficits
  • less skilled readers
  • attention deficit
  • poor comprehenders
  • selective metaanalysis
  • language comprehension
  • sustained attention

Cite this

@article{8ef50205b9f8462b845035d4329a869e,
title = "Do tasks make a difference? Accounting for heterogeneity of performance of children with reading difficulties on tasks of executive function: findings from a meta-analysis",
abstract = "Research studies have implicated executive functions in reading difficulties (RD). But while some studies have found children with RD to be impaired on tasks of executive function other studies report unimpaired performance. A meta-analysis was carried out to determine whether these discrepant findings can be accounted for by differences in the tasks of executive function that are utilized. A total of 48 studies comparing the performance on tasks of executive function of children with RD with their typically developing peers were included in the meta-analysis, yielding 180 effect sizes. An overall effect size of 0.57 (SE .03) was obtained, indicating that children with RD have impairments on tasks of executive function. However, effect sizes varied considerably suggesting that the impairment is not uniform. Moderator analysis revealed that task modality and IQ-achievement discrepancy definitions of RD influenced the magnitude of effect; however, the age and gender of participants and the nature of the RD did not have an influence. While the children's RD were associated with executive function impairments, variation in effect size is a product of the assessment task employed, underlying task demands, and definitional criteria.",
keywords = "deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabled readers, working memory deficits, less skilled readers, attention deficit, poor comprehenders, selective metaanalysis, language comprehension, sustained attention",
author = "Booth, {Josephine N.} and James Boyle and Steve Kelly",
year = "2010",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1348/026151009X485432",
language = "English",
volume = "28",
pages = "133--176",
journal = "British Journal of Developmental Psychology",
issn = "0261-510X",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Do tasks make a difference? Accounting for heterogeneity of performance of children with reading difficulties on tasks of executive function

T2 - findings from a meta-analysis

AU - Booth, Josephine N.

AU - Boyle, James

AU - Kelly, Steve

PY - 2010/3

Y1 - 2010/3

N2 - Research studies have implicated executive functions in reading difficulties (RD). But while some studies have found children with RD to be impaired on tasks of executive function other studies report unimpaired performance. A meta-analysis was carried out to determine whether these discrepant findings can be accounted for by differences in the tasks of executive function that are utilized. A total of 48 studies comparing the performance on tasks of executive function of children with RD with their typically developing peers were included in the meta-analysis, yielding 180 effect sizes. An overall effect size of 0.57 (SE .03) was obtained, indicating that children with RD have impairments on tasks of executive function. However, effect sizes varied considerably suggesting that the impairment is not uniform. Moderator analysis revealed that task modality and IQ-achievement discrepancy definitions of RD influenced the magnitude of effect; however, the age and gender of participants and the nature of the RD did not have an influence. While the children's RD were associated with executive function impairments, variation in effect size is a product of the assessment task employed, underlying task demands, and definitional criteria.

AB - Research studies have implicated executive functions in reading difficulties (RD). But while some studies have found children with RD to be impaired on tasks of executive function other studies report unimpaired performance. A meta-analysis was carried out to determine whether these discrepant findings can be accounted for by differences in the tasks of executive function that are utilized. A total of 48 studies comparing the performance on tasks of executive function of children with RD with their typically developing peers were included in the meta-analysis, yielding 180 effect sizes. An overall effect size of 0.57 (SE .03) was obtained, indicating that children with RD have impairments on tasks of executive function. However, effect sizes varied considerably suggesting that the impairment is not uniform. Moderator analysis revealed that task modality and IQ-achievement discrepancy definitions of RD influenced the magnitude of effect; however, the age and gender of participants and the nature of the RD did not have an influence. While the children's RD were associated with executive function impairments, variation in effect size is a product of the assessment task employed, underlying task demands, and definitional criteria.

KW - deficit hyperactivity disorder

KW - learning disabled readers

KW - working memory deficits

KW - less skilled readers

KW - attention deficit

KW - poor comprehenders

KW - selective metaanalysis

KW - language comprehension

KW - sustained attention

U2 - 10.1348/026151009X485432

DO - 10.1348/026151009X485432

M3 - Article

VL - 28

SP - 133

EP - 176

JO - British Journal of Developmental Psychology

JF - British Journal of Developmental Psychology

SN - 0261-510X

IS - 1

ER -