Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Alison F. Garton


The performance of 60 year8 students was examined on tasks measuring phonological processing, syntactic processing, and reading comprehension. The students were also administered several measures of working memory relating to the phonological loop and the central executive. A series of hierarchical regression analyses indicated that phonological processing and syntactic processing were both predictors of reading comprehension, and that the presence or absence of the latter distinguished good and poor comprehenders respectively. The phonological loop was found to play a small but significant role in the processes involved in reading comprehension, but not the central executive. Gender differences suggested that boys use relatively more phonological processing and girls relatively more syntactical processing to achieve similar levels of reading competency. Good reading comprehension appears to rely on basal levels of both phonological and syntactic processing. The results support the argument that these two processes complement one another, function concurrently, and act to reduce the demand on working memory.