Children’s comprehension monitoring of multiple situational dimensions of a narrative.

S.I. Wassenburg, K. Beker, P. van den Broek, M. van der Schoot

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Narratives typically consist of information on multiple aspects of a situation. In order to successfully create a coherent representation of the described situation, readers are required to monitor all these situational dimensions during reading. However, little is known about whether these dimensions differ in the ease with which they can be monitored. In the present study, we examined whether children in Grades 4 and 6 monitor four different dimensions (i.e., emotion, causation, time, and space) during reading, using a self-paced reading task containing inconsistencies. Furthermore, to explore what causes failure in inconsistency detection, we differentiated between monitoring processes related to availability and validation of information by manipulating the distance between two pieces of conflicting information. The results indicated that the monitoring processes varied as a function of dimension. Children were able to validate emotional and causal information when it was still active in working memory, but this was not the case for temporal and spatial information. When context and target information were more distant from each other, only emotionally charged information remained available for further monitoring processes. These findings show that the influence of different situational dimensions should be taken into account when studying children’s reading comprehension.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1232
JournalReading and Writing
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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