Irrelevant Information and Person Effects of Word-Problem Performance
Wang, Amber Yu
The purpose of this study was to extend the literature on word-problem performance by using a crossed random-effects item response model to bring together two lines of research, namely irrelevant information and person factors that affect word-problem performance. This study combined covariates identified in prior research into one model so that effects could be evaluated in the presence of other potential influences. Study participants were 140 3rd- and 5th-graders identified as at risk for mathematics difficulties. Results demonstrated that irrelevant information position uniquely contributed to word-problem solving, in the presence of arithmetic skill, nonverbal reasoning, language comprehension, working memory, and grade. Language comprehension emerged as a significant factor, also when controlling for all other person- and-item factors. No significant interactions were found. We discuss instructional implications, suggest future directions for research, and present study limitations.