Aceti, B. J. (2020). An investigation into the relationships between reading rate, processing speed, and extended time (Publication No. 28026531) [Doctoral dissertation, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/2476867913
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (New Brunswick–Piscataway, NJ); ProQuest document ID: 2476867913; This document is also available online from RUcore: Rutgers University Community Repository at https://doi.org/10.7282/t3-n09n-rx58
The boost effect—based on the differential boost hypothesis of accommodations' benefits for students with disabilities—from the extended time accommodation was investigated in relation to cognitive processing speed and reading rate. Effects of the testing conditions of standard time allotted and extended time were compared.
A sample of students (n=21) attending grade 9 through grade 12 in a suburban New Jersey (U.S.) high school participated. Seven (7) students had disabilities, and 14 students had no reported disabilities; specific disability categories were not reported. Additional demographic information was reported for the sample and for the school population, including gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.
The Nelson-Denny Reading Test (NDRT) was used to measure vocabulary (language development) and comprehension, as well as reading rate. The parallel forms, Forms I and J, were each administered to all participants, to gather performance scores with standard time and extended time conditions. The NDRT provides norms for standard and extended time scores. The Woodcock-Johnson IV Tests of Cognitive Abilities (Cognitive Processing Speed Cluster) (WJ-IV COG) was used to measure cognitive processing speed, that is, the "ability to quickly and accurately perform simple tasks within specific time frames" (p. 34). The tests in this cluster were the Letter Pattern Matching test and the Pair Cancellation test. The NDRT was administered to participants in a group setting, and the WJ-IV COG was administered to each participant individually.
The expected benefits from extended time for students with difficulties with reading rate and cognitive processing speed were not demonstrated. The reading comprehension performance of high school students with and without disabilities was not associated with using extended time, and no relationship was shown between cognitive processing speed and reading rate. However, there seemed to be links between reading rate and recognizing words during testing. Further, the researcher noted a benefit from extended time: "as cognitive processing speed decreased, the boost from extended time on the Vocabulary test increased" (p. 45). Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.