A holistic examination of word reading in lower grade Chinese students: A one-year longitudinal study


Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


Factors from ecological, psychological, and cognitive domains have all been found to be important in learning to read words. However, previous studies mainly examined the effects of the cognitive factors on reading development, and few have incorporated factors from all three domains and examined their interactions in contributing to reading development. To conduct a comprehensive examination of the reading development of the Chinese lower graders, this study included factors from the ecological, psychological, cognitive domains and examined the relationships between the factors from different domains and word reading in Chinese lower grade students under the framework of the Componential Model of Reading (CMR). In this study, 194 children (mean age = 86.20, SD = 4.92; 119 boys, 75 girls) were measured in grade one (Time 1). Of these 194 children, 175 (mean age = 103.13, SD = 4.27; 108 boys, 67 girls) were measured again when they were in grade three (Time 2). In addition, 9 boys (mean age = 100.67, SD = 4.67) who were not measured at Time 1 joined the study at Time 2. At both times, the ecological component was composed of the home literacy environment and family socioeconomic status, the cognitive component was composed of vocabulary, working memory, morphological awareness, and phonological awareness, and the psychological component was represented by the children’s interest in reading. The outcome variable word reading was composed of word reading fluency and word reading accuracy. The results showed that: 1) the factors for each component (i.e., cognitive, psychological, ecological) significantly loaded onto the respective component, and each component was significantly correlated with word reading (except the ecological component and word reading at Time 2); 2) the cognitive and the psychological components contributed directly to word reading, while the ecological component only contributed indirectly to word reading via the mediations of the other two components; 3) comparing the models at the two time points, the path from the ecological component to the cognitive component at the second time was stronger; 4) the cognitive component at Time 1 contributed to word reading at Time 2 via the mediation of word reading at Time 1, and the longitudinal indirect effects of ecological component were nonsignificant; 5) the Time 1 ecological component and word reading were found to predict the Time 2 psychological component. Taken together, these findings emphasized the importance of the factors from all three domains to reading development, validated and extended the CMR in Chinese lower grade students. The results also underscored the complexities of reading development with the emergence of the interactive, indirect, and bidirectional relationships between the components and word reading. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • LIU, Duo 劉鐸, Supervisor
  • YUM, Yen Na, Cherry 任演納, Supervisor
  • WONG, Tin Yau Terry, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Chinese children
  • Word reading
  • Lower grade students
  • Ecological factors
  • Psychological factors
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2021.


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