of Text and Reader Variables on the Comprehension of Health Information
Purpose: The research will move toward situating health literacy within the cognitive scientific framework of text processing in aging, thereby accessing theory-driven models with which to investigate important scientific and pragmatic outcomes. The theoretical basis for the proposed research derives from three research literatures; namely: discourse processing, cognitive aging, and text comprehension in aging. This research is to investigate an aspect of health literacy, namely the relationships between; 1) text structure, 2) comprehension of text-based health information, and 3) reader variables, including: age, language abilities and self-ratings of familiarity, meaningfulness/interest, and comprehensibility.
Research Aims: Previous work in text comprehension in aging, as well as our individual and combined expertise in relevant aspects of language, cognition and aging makes the proposed research project a viable undertaking. The primary goal or the research is to systematically apply theory-driven paradigms to study comprehension of text-based health information in aging. The results will yield basic empirical data form which future text comprehension in aging research may draw as well as practical information about the future design of strategy training to bolster cognitive performance in aging.
Data will be collected from a broad demographic sample of community-dwelling
older and younger adults. This will include the selection, analysis, and
manipulation of authentic health texts to facilitate the interpretation
of performance outcomes as a function of the texts' linguistic characteristics.