Theses Doctoral

The Effects of Sequencing and Producing Narrative Components of a Story on Reading Comprehension

Mercorella, Kelly Ann

In three experiments, I tested for the presence of the naming capability, the participants’ drawing responses of the stimuli learned in the absence of the visual stimulus, and the participants’ comprehension of texts with and without pictures present. In Experiment 1, I tested for the presence of naming and the drawing responses for the stimuli presented during the naming experience in the absence of the visual stimulus in 44 third and fourth grade participants. Results demonstrated that fewer instances of the naming capability, as well as the drawing response, were seen in students performing below grade-level in reading, than students performing on or above grade-level. I hypothesized that differences in reading performance may be due to the absence of a strong production response repertoire, which include behaviors such as drawing and speaking. Experiment 2 assessed whether or not the presence of visual stimuli during reading has an effect on the target participants’ comprehension of a story, as well as if the presence of the speaker component of naming and the drawing responses had an effect on comprehension. Results demonstrated that there were significant differences in comprehension scores between the three groups during the with pictures condition χ2(2, N=44) = 24.38, p = 0.00 and the without pictures condition χ2(2, N=44) = 33.47, p = 0.00. Furthermore, there was a significant correlation between mean comprehension scores and the number of components drawn correctly ρ (44) = .412, p = .005. These results are consistent with the theory that the visualization of events and characters in a story is necessary to facilitate reading comprehension. Experiment 3 employed a multiple probe design across 3 groups of 2 participants to test the effects of sequencing and producing narrative components of a story on the participants’ responses to comprehension questions for texts without pictures present. The participants were 6 third grade students who demonstrated below-grade-level comprehension skills for texts without pictures present. Prior to the intervention, all participants exhibited lower comprehension scores for texts without pictures present than for texts with pictures present. Following the intervention, all participants’ comprehension scores for texts without pictures present increased, and 5 of the 6 participants showed increases in comprehension for texts with pictures present as well. Furthermore, following the intervention all participants demonstrated increases in the conditioned seeing repertoire, with 4 of the 6 participants meeting criterion level responding.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Behavior Analysis
Thesis Advisors
Greer, Douglas
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 6, 2017