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reading comprehension, reading strategies, cognitive flexibility, reading-specific flexibility, elementary years


The goal was to test whether cognitive flexibility moderates the relation between reading strategy use and reading comprehension during the elementary years. Seventy-five second through fifth grade students completed a think aloud task and a metacognitive questionnaire to measure reading strategies, two card-sorting tasks to measure general and reading-specific cognitive flexibility, and one standardized measure of reading comprehension, as well as measures of oral reading fluency and vocabulary. As expected, oral reading fluency and vocabulary predicted reading comprehension, as did reading-specific flexibility. Importantly, reading-specific flexibility had a significant moderating effect, over and above the other effects. Specifically, weak reading-specific flexibility skills were associated with a negative relation between reading strategy use during think aloud and reading comprehension, suggesting that children with weak flexibility skills are less adept at using reading strategies effectively.