Executive functioning skills uniquely predict Chinese word reading

Kevin Kien Hoa CHUNG, Catherine MCBRIDE-CHANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


Eighty-five Hong Kong Chinese children were tested across both the 2nd and 3rd years of kindergarten (ages 4-5 years) on tasks of inhibitory control, working memory, vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, and word reading. With age, vocabulary knowledge, and metalinguistic skills statistically controlled, the combination of working memory and inhibitory control together independently explained approximately 14%–16% of the variance in word reading at both ages. Furthermore, the executive functioning skills as a block contributed unique variance to word reading at Time 2, even when word recognition at Time 1 was statistically controlled. These findings highlight the unique importance of executive functioning skills, even beyond vocabulary knowledge and metalinguistic awareness, for the development of Chinese word recognition in beginning readers of Chinese. Copyright © 2011 American Psychological Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-921
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


Chung, K. K. H., & McBride-Chang, C. (2011). Executive functioning skills uniquely predict Chinese word reading. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(4), 909-921.


  • Chinese word recognition
  • Executive functioning skills
  • Metalinguistic skills
  • Reading achievement


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