Professor Kate Cain

Head of Department, Professor

Research Interests

My research concerns the different cognitive and language-related skills that underpin the development of reading and listening comprehension, both in atypical and typical populations. To date, this work has identified several higher-level skill weaknesses that may be causally linked to poor comprehension, including the ability to generate inferences, knowledge and use of reading strategies, and the ability to construct coherent and integrated narratives. Recent work has confirmed that these skills predict reading comprehension development between 8 to 11 years.

Current and recent research projects

  • The language bases of reading comprehension (funded by IES), more details about LARRC here: http://larrc.ehe.osu.edu/
  • The influence of morphological awareness on learning to read in English and Chinese (funded by ESRC and the RGC Hong Kong), more details here: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/esrc-morphology/
  • Language and literacy profiles of children with rolandic epilepsy (funded by The Waterloo Foundation), more details here: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/rolandicepilepsy/
  • Developing reading comprehension in the classroom (funded by the British Academy)
  • Use of corpus methods to investigate the language environment of typically and atypically developing children (funded by ESRC), for more details about the Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science see here:http://cass.lancs.ac.uk/?page_id=23
  • Opportunities for bilingualism in preschool and school-aged children with developmental disabilities (funded by SSHRC).

Development of comprehension monitoring in beginner readers
Language and Reading Research Consortium, Yeomans-Maldonado, G. 11/2017 In: Reading and Writing. 30, 9, p. 2039-2067. 29 p.
Journal article

Reading comprehension difficulties in children with rolandic epilepsy
Currie, N.K., Lew, A.R., Palmer, T.M., Basu, H., De Goede, C., Ayer, A., Cain, K. 13/10/2017 In: Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology.
Journal article

From words to text: Inference making mediates the role of vocabulary in children's reading comprehension
Daugaard, H., Cain, K., Elbro, C. 10/2017 In: Reading and Writing. 30, 8, p. 1773-1788. 16 p.
Journal article

The use of questions to scaffold narrative coherence and cohesion
Silva, M., Cain, K. 12/09/2017 In: Journal of Research in Reading.
Journal article

Within- and cross-language contributions of morphological awareness to word reading development in Chinese-English bilingual children
Choi, W., Tong, X., Law, K.S., Cain, K. 12/09/2017 In: Reading and Writing. 34 p.
Journal article

The dimensionality of inference making: Are local and global inferences distinguishable?
Language and Reading Research Consortium (LARRC) 13/08/2017 In: Scientific Studies of Reading.
Journal article

Oral language and listening comprehension: same or different constructs?
Language and Reading Research Consortium 05/2017 In: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 60, 5, p. 1273-1284. 12 p.
Journal article

Pressure points in reading comprehension: a quantile multiple regression analysis
Language and Reading Research Consortium 05/2017 In: Journal of Educational Psychology. 109, 4, p. 451-464. 14 p.
Journal article

Understanding the semantic functions of but in middle childhood: the role of text- and sentence-level comprehension abilities
Florit, E., Cain, K., Levorato, M.C. 1/04/2017 In: First Language. 37, 2, p. 109-129. 21 p.
Journal article

Assessing school-aged children’s inference making: the effect of test story format in listening comprehension
Freed, J., Cain, K.E. 01/2017 In: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. 52, 1, p. 95-105. 11 p.
Journal article

Theories of reading development
Cain, K., Compton, D.L., Parrila, R.K. 2017 John Benjamins Publishers. 534 p. ISBN: 9789027218117. Electronic ISBN: 9789027265647.
Book

Investigating profiles of lexical quality in preschool and their contribution to first grade reading
Murphy, K., Language and Reading Research Consortium (LARRC), Farquharson, K. 11/2016 In: Reading and Writing. 29, 9, p. 1745-1770. 26 p.
Journal article

Predicting word reading ability: a quantile regression study
McIlraith, A., Language and Reading Research Consortium (LARRC) 18/10/2016 In: Journal of Research in Reading.
Journal article

Children's processing and comprehension of complex sentences containing temporal connectives: the influence of memory on the time course of accurate responses
Blything, L.P., Cain, K.E. 10/2016 In: Developmental Psychology. 52, 10, p. 1517-1529. 13 p.
Journal article

Predicting second grade listening comprehension using prekindergarten measures
Alonzo, C., Yeomans-Maldonado, G., Murphy, K., Bevens, B., Language and Reading Research Consortium 10/2016 In: Topics in Language Disorders. 36, 4, p. 312-333. 22 p.
Journal article

A multi-site review of policies affecting opportunities for children with developmental disabilities to become bilingual
Pesco, D., MacLeod, A.A.A.N., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Cleave, P., Trudeau, N., de Valenzuela, J.S., Cain, K., Marinova-Todd, S.H., Colozzo, P., Stahl, H., Segers, E., Verhoeven, L. 09/2016 In: Journal of Communication Disorders. 63, p. 15-31. 17 p.
Journal article

Access to opportunities for bilingualism for individuals with developmental disabilities: key informant interviews
Scherba de Valenzuela, J., Kay-Raining Bird , E., Parkington, K., Mirenda, P., Cain, K., MacLeod, A., Segers, E. 09/2016 In: Journal of Communication Disorders. 63, p. 32-46. 15 p.
Journal article

Professional practices and opinions about services available to bilingual children with developmental disabilities: an international study
Marinova-Todd, S.H., Colozzo, P., Mirenda, P., Stahl, H., Kay-Raining Bird , E., Parkington, K., Cain, K.E., Scherba de Valenzuela, J., Segers, E., MacLeod, A.A.N., Genesee, F. 09/2016 In: Journal of Communication Disorders. 63, p. 47-62. 16 p.
Journal article

iPads and the use of “Apps” by children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: do they promote learning?
Allen, M.L., Hartley, C.K., Cain, K.E. 30/08/2016 In: Frontiers in Psychology. 7, 7 p.
Journal article

Lexical prosody beyond first-language boundary: Chinese lexical tone sensitivity predicts English reading comprehension
Choi, W., Tong, X., Cain, K.E. 08/2016 In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 148, p. 70-86. 17 p.
Journal article

Improving the language skills of Pre-Kindergarten students: Preliminary impacts of the Let’s Know! experimental curriculum.
Language and Reading Research Consortium (LARRC), Johanson, M., Arthur, A. 06/2016 In: Child and Youth Care Forum. 45, 3, p. 367–392. 26 p.
Journal article

Ten steps to conducting a large, multi-site, longitudinal investigation of language and reading in young children
Language and Reading Research Consortium, Farquharson, K., Murphy, K.A. 30/03/2016 In: Frontiers in Developmental Psychology. 7, p. 1-16. 16 p.
Journal article

Use of the curriculum research framework (CRF) for developing a reading-comprehension curricular supplement for the primary grades
Language and Reading Research Consortium 11/03/2016 In: Elementary School Journal. 116, 3, p. 459-486. 28 p.
Journal article

Understanding of idiomatic expressions in context in skilled and less-skilled comprehenders: online processing and interpretation
Oakhill, J., Cain, K., Nesi, B. 03/2016 In: Scientific Studies of Reading. 20, 2, p. 124-139. 16 p.
Journal article

A pilot study of the impact of double-dose robust vocabulary instruction on children’s vocabulary growth
Language and Reading Research Consortium, Arthur, A., Davis, D. 12/01/2016 In: Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness. 9, 2, p. 173-200. 28 p.
Journal article

Inferential revision in narrative texts: an ERP study
Perez, A., Cain, K., Castellanos, M., Bajo, T. 11/2015 In: Memory and Cognition. 43, 8, p. 1105-1135. 31 p.
Journal article

The dimensionality of language ability in young children
Language and Reading Research Consortium 11/2015 In: Child Development. 86, 6, p. 1948-1965. 18 p.
Journal article

Young children’s comprehension of temporal relations in complex sentences: the influence of memory on performance
Blything, L., Davies, R., Cain, K. 11/2015 In: Child Development. 86, 6, p. 1922-1934. 13 p.
Journal article

Children’s inference generation: the role of vocabulary and working memory
Currie, N., Cain, K. 09/2015 In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 137, p. 57-75. 19 p.
Journal article

Children’s reading comprehension and comprehension difficulties
Oakhill, J., Berenhaus, M.S., Cain, K. 18/08/2015 In: The Oxford handbook of reading. New York : Oxford University Press ISBN: 9780199324576.
Chapter

The dimensionality of Spanish in young Spanish-English dual language learners
Language and Reading Research Consortium 1/06/2015 In: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 58, p. 754-766. 13 p.
Journal article

Literacy development: the interdependent roles of oral language and reading comprehension
Cain, K. 7/05/2015 In: Routledge handbook of communication disorders. London : Routledge ISBN: 9780415821025.
Chapter

The relations between lower and higher level comprehension skills and their role in prediction of early reading comprehension
Silva, M., Cain, K. 05/2015 In: Journal of Educational Psychology. 107, 2, p. 321-331. 11 p.
Journal article

A comparison of deaf and hearing children’s reading comprehension profiles
Kyle, F.E., Cain, K. 04/2015 In: Topics in Language Disorders. 35, 2, p. 144-156. 13 p.
Journal article

Inference processing in children: the contributions of depth and breadth of vocabulary knowledge
Oakhill, J., Cain, K., McCarthy, D. 04/2015 In: Inferences during reading. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press ISBN: 9781107049796.
Chapter

Learning to read: should we keep things simple?
Language and Reading Research Consortium 04/2015 In: Reading Research Quarterly. 50, 2, p. 151-169. 18 p.
Journal article

Do iPads promote symbolic understanding and word learning in children with autism?
Allen, M., Hartley, C., Cain, K. 12/02/2015 In: Frontiers in Educational Psychology. 6, 9 p.
Journal article

Effect of imagery training on children's comprehension of pronouns
Francey, G., Cain, K. 2/01/2015 In: The Journal of Educational Research. 108, 1, p. 1-9. 9 p.
Journal article

Reading comprehension and vocabulary: is vocabulary more important for some aspects of comprehension?
Cain, K., Oakhill, J. 12/2014 In: L'année Psychologique. 114, 4, p. 647-662. 16 p.
Journal article

Improving language-focused comprehension instruction in primary-grade classrooms: impacts of the Let’s Know! experimental curriculum
Language and Reading Research Consortium, Pratt, A., Logan, J. 09/2014 In: Educational Psychology Review. 26, 3, p. 357-377. 21 p.
Journal article

Understanding and teaching reading comprehension: a handbook
Oakhill, J., Cain, K., Elbro, C. 25/08/2014 London : Routledge. 144 p. ISBN: 9780415698306, 9780415698313.
Book

Decoding and reading comprehension: a meta-analysis to identify which reader and assessment characteristics influence the strength of the relationship in English
Garcia, J.R., Cain, K. 03/2014 In: Review of Educational Research. 84, 1, p. 74-111. 38 p.
Journal article

Early narrative skills in Chilean preschool: questions scaffold the production of coherent narratives
Silva, M., Strasser, K., Cain, K. 2014 In: Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 29, 2, p. 205-213. 9 p.
Journal article

Morphological and syntactic awareness in poor comprehenders: another piece of the puzzle
Tong, X., Deacon, H., Cain, K. 2014 In: Journal of Learning Disabilities. 47, 1, p. 22-33. 12 p.
Journal article

Reading and listening comprehension and their relation to inattention and hyperactivity
Cain, K., Bignell, S. 2014 In: British Journal of Educational Psychology. 84, 1, p. 108-124. 17 p.
Journal article

Reading comprehension (development, individual differences, difficulties)
Oakhill, J., Cain, K. 2014 In: Encyclopedia of language development. Sage Publications
Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Reading comprehension difficulties in struggling readers
Cain, K. 2013 In: Unravelling reading comprehension. Baltimore, Md. : Paul Brookes Publishing p. 54-65. 12 p. ISBN: 9781598572445.
Chapter

Young children’s oral language abilities and later reading comprehension
Hogan, T.P., Cain, K., Sittner Bridges, M. 2013 In: Early childhood literacy. Baltimore, Md. : Brookes Publishing Co ISBN: 9781598571158.
Chapter

The precursors of reading ability in young readers: evidence from a four-year longitudinal study.
Oakhill, J., Cain, K. 03/2012 In: Scientific Studies of Reading. 16, 2, p. 91-121. 31 p.
Journal article

Deeper learning in reading comprehension
Kirby, J.R., Cain, K., White, B. 2012 In: Enhancing the quality of learning. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press p. 315-338. 24 p. ISBN: 9780521199421.
Chapter

Making the link between vocabulary knowledge and comprehension skill
Oakhill, J., Cain, K., McCarthy, D., Field, Z. 2012 In: From words to reading for understanding. Hoboken, N.J. : Routledge ISBN: 9781136475702.
Chapter

Reading comprehension development from seven to fourteen years: implication for assessment
Cain, K., Oakhill, J. 2012 In: Measuring up. Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Education ISBN: 9781607094852.
Chapter

The simple view of reading: is it valid for different types of alphabetic orthographies?
Florit, E., Cain, K. 12/2011
Literature review

Increasing higher level language skills to improve reading comprehension.
Hogan, T.P., Bridges, M.S., Justice, L.M., Cain, K. 11/2011 In: Focus on Exceptional Children. 44, 3, p. 1-19. 19 p.
Journal article

Matthew effects in young readers: reading comprehension and reading experience aid vocabulary development
Cain, K., Oakhill, J. 09/2011 In: Journal of Learning Disabilities. 44, 5, p. 431-443. 13 p.
Journal article

Morphological awareness: a key to understanding poor reading comprehension in English.
Tong, X., Deacon, S.H., Kirby, J.R., Cain, K., Parrila, R. 08/2011 In: Journal of Educational Psychology. 103, 3, p. 523-534. 12 p.
Journal article

The influence of connectives on young readers' processing and comprehension of text.
Cain, K., Nash, H.M. 05/2011 In: Journal of Educational Psychology. 103, 2, p. 429-441. 13 p.
Journal article

What we have learned from 'learning to read in more than one language'.
Deacon, H., Cain, K. 02/2011 In: Journal of Research in Reading. 34, 1, 5 p.
Editorial

Reading development and difficulties: an introduction.
Cain, K. 2010 Oxford : Wiley-Blackwell. 260 p. ISBN: 9781405151559.
Book

Reading for meaning: the skills that drive comprehension development
Cain, K. 2010 In: Interdisciplinary perspectives on learning to read. London : Routledge p. 74-86. 13 p. ISBN: 9780415561235.
Chapter

The development of idiom comprehension: an investigation of semantic and contextual processing skills.
Cain, K., Towse, A.S., Knight, R.S. 03/2009 In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 102, 3, p. 280-298. 19 p.
Journal article

Children's reading comprehension difficulties: a consideration of the precursors and consequences
Cain, K. 2009 In: Contemporary perspectives on reading and spelling . Oxford : Routledge p. 59-75. 17 p. ISBN: 9780415497169.
Chapter

Making sense of text : skills that support text comprehension and its development.
Cain, K. 2009 In: Perspectives on Language and Literacy. 35, 2, p. 11-14. 4 p.
Journal article

Reading comprehension development from 8 to 14 years the contribution of component skills and processes
Cain, K., Oakhill, J. 2009 In: Beyond decoding. New York : The Guildford Press ISBN: 9781606233108. Electronic ISBN: 9781606233566.
Chapter

Reading comprehension: nature, assessment and teaching.
Snowling, M., Cain, K., Nation, K., Oakhill, J. 2009
Other contribution

To get hold of the wrong end of the stick: reasons for poor idiom understanding in children with reading comprehension difficulties.
Cain, K., Towse, A.S. 12/2008 In: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 51, 6, p. 1538-1549. 12 p.
Journal article

Deriving word meanings from context: does explanation facilitate contextual analysis?
Cain, K. 11/2007 In: Journal of Research in Reading. 30, 4, p. 347-359. 13 p.
Journal article

Pragmatic aspects of communication and language comprehension in groups of children differentiated by teacher ratings of inattention and hyperactivity.
Bignell, S., Cain, K. 11/2007 In: British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 25, 4, p. 499-512. 14 p.
Journal article

Syntactic awareness and reading ability: is there any evidence for a special relationship?
Cain, K. 28/09/2007 In: Applied Psycholinguistics. 28, 4, p. 679-694. 16 p.
Journal article

Comprehension problems in children with specific language impairment: does mental imagery training help?
Joffe, V., Cain, K., Maric, N. 11/04/2007 In: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. 42, 6, p. 648-664. 17 p.
Journal article

Children's Comprehension Problems in Oral and Written Language: A Cognitive Perspective.
Cain, K., Oakhill, J. 2007 New York : Guilford Press. 302 p. ISBN: 9781593854430 .
Book

Introduction to comprehension development
Oakhill, J., Cain, K. 2007 In: Children's comprehension problems in oral and written text. New York : Guilford Press p. 3-40. 38 p. ISBN: 9781593858322.
Chapter

Issues of causality in children’s reading comprehension
Oakhill, J., Cain, K. 2007 In: Reading comprehension strategies. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates p. 47-72. 26 p. ISBN: 9780805859676.
Chapter

Reading comprehension difficulties: correlates, causes, and consequence
Cain, K., Oakhill, J. 2007 In: Children's comprehension roblems in oral and written text. New York : Guilford Press p. 41-75. 35 p. ISBN: 9781593858322.
Chapter

Assessment matters: issues in the measurement of reading comprehension.
Cain, K., Oakhill, J. 12/2006 In: British Journal of Educational Psychology. 76, 4, p. 697-708. 12 p.
Journal article

Profiles of children with specific reading comprehension difficulties.
Cain, K., Oakhill, J. 12/2006 In: British Journal of Educational Psychology. 76, 4, p. 683-696. 14 p.
Journal article

Individual differences in children's memory and reading comprehension : an investigation of semantic and inhibitory deficits.
Cain, K. 07/2006 In: Memory. 14, 5, p. 553 -569.
Journal article

Children's reading comprehension : the role of working memory in normal and impaired development.
Cain, K. 2006 In: Working memory and education.. Amsterdam : Academic Press p. 61-91. 31 p. ISBN: 9780125544658 (alk. paper) 0125544650 (alk. paper).
Chapter

Reading processes in children
Cain, K. 2006 In: Encyclopedia of language and linguistics. Elsevier 8 p.
Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Age- and ability-related differences in young readers’ use of conjunctions.
Cain, K., Patson, N., Andrews, L. 11/2005 In: Journal of Child Language. 32, 4, p. 877-892. 16 p.
Journal article

The relation between children's reading comprehension level and their comprehension of idioms.
Cain, K.E., Lemmon, K., Oakhill, J. 1/01/2005 In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 90, p. 65-87. 23 p.
Journal article

Individual differences in the inference of word meanings from context: the influence of reading comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, and memory capacity.
Cain, K., Lemmon, K., Oakhill, J. 12/2004 In: Journal of Educational Psychology. 96, 4, p. 671-681. 12 p.
Journal article

Children's reading comprehension ability: Concurrent prediction by working memory, verbal ability, and component skills.
Cain, K.E., Bryant, P.E., Oakhill, J. 03/2004 In: Journal of Educational Psychology. 96, 1, p. 31-42. 12 p.
Journal article

Reading comprehension difficulties
Cain, K. 2004 In: Handbook of children’s literacy . Dordrecht : Kluwer Academic Publishers p. 313-338. 26 p. ISBN: 9789048164226.
Chapter

The development of comprehension skills
Oakhill, J.V., Cain, K. 2004 In: Handbook of children's literacy. Dordrecht : Kluwer Academic Publishers p. 155. 180 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Text comprehension and its relation to coherence and cohesion in children’s fictional narratives.
Cain, K. 09/2003 In: British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 21, 3, p. 335-351. 17 p.
Journal article

The ability to learn new word meanings from context by school-age children with and without language comprehension difficulties
Cain, K., Oakhill, J.V., Elbro, C. 08/2003 In: Journal of Child Language. 30, 3, p. 681-694. 14 p.
Journal article

The dissociation of word reading and text comprehension: Evidence from component skills.
Oakhill, J.V., Cain, K., Bryant, P.E. 2003 In: Language and Cognitive Processes. 18, 4, p. 443-468. 26 p.
Journal article

Comprehension skill, inference making ability and their relation to knowledge.
Cain, K., Barnes, M.A., Bryant, P.E., Oakhill, J.V. 1/09/2001 In: Memory and Cognition. 29, 6, p. 850-859. 10 p.
Journal article

Phonological skills and comprehension failure: a test of the phonological processing deficit hypothesis
Cain, K., Oakhill, J., Bryant, P.E. 09/2000 In: Reading and Writing. 13, 1-2, p. 31-56. 26 p.
Journal article

Investigating the causes of reading comprehension failure: the comprehension-age match design.
Cain, K., Oakhill, J.V., Bryant, P.E. 03/2000 In: Reading and Writing. 12, 1-2, p. 31-40. 10 p.
Journal article

Children’s difficulties in text comprehension: assessing causal issues
Oakhill, J., Cain, K. 2000 In: Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. 5, 1, p. 51-59. 9 p.
Journal article

Inference making ability and its relation to comprehension failure
Cain, K., Oakhill, J. 12/1999 In: Reading and Writing. 11, 5-6, p. 489-503. 15 p.
Journal article

Ways of reading: how knowledge and use of strategies are related to reading comprehension
Cain, K. 06/1999 In: British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 17, 2, p. 293-309. 17 p.
Journal article

Problems in text comprehension: current perspectives and recent research
Oakhill, J., Cain, K. 1999 In: Problems and interventions in literacy development . Dordrecht : Kluwer Academic Publishers p. 177-192. 16 p. ISBN: 9780792355571, 9789048151646.
Chapter

Assessment of comprehension in reading
Oakhill, J., Cain, K. 1998 In: The psychological assessment of reading . London : Routledge p. 176-203. 28 p. ISBN: 9780415128599.
Chapter

Comprehension skill and inference making ability: issues of causality
Cain, K., Oakhill, J. 1998 In: Reading and spelling. Mahwah, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates p. 329-342. 14 p.
Chapter

Individual differences in young children's comprehension skill: toward an integrated mode
Oakhill, J., Cain, K., Yuill, N.M. 1998 In: Reading and spelling . Marwah, N.J. : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates p. 343-367. 25 p. ISBN: 9780805827736.
Chapter

Selective retention of information about the superficial form of text: ellipses with antecedents in main and subordinate clause
Garnham, A., Oakhill, J., Cain, K. 1998 In: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Series a Human Experimental Psychology. 51, 1, p. 19-39. 21 p.
Journal article

The interpretation of anaphoric noun phrases: time course, and effects of overspecificity
Garnham, A., Oakhill, J., Cain, K. 1997 In: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Series a Human Experimental Psychology. 50, 1, p. 149-162. 14 p.
Journal article

The nature of the relationship between comprehension skill and the ability to tell a story
Cain, K., Oakhill, J. 06/1996 In: British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 14, 2, p. 187-201. 15 p.
Journal article

Story knowledge and comprehension skill
Cain, K. 1996 In: Reading comprehension difficulties. Mahwah, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaun Associates p. 167-192. 26 p. ISBN: 9780805818451.
Chapter

The use of stereotypical gender information in constructing a mental model: evidence from English and Spanish
Carreiras, M., Garnham, A., Oakhill, J., Cain, K. 1996 In: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Series a Human Experimental Psychology. 49, 3, p. 639-663. 25 p.
Journal article

How natural are conceptual anaphors?
Oakhill, J., Garnham, A., Gernsbacher, M.A., Cain, K. 1992 In: Language and Cognitive Processes. 7, 3-4, p. 257–280. 24 p.
Journal article