The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between anxiety and performance on measures of reading fluency and reading comprehension in fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students. The study found that there is a significant negative correlation between social anxiety and reading comprehension but no significant correlation between social anxiety and reading fluency. These findings further demonstrate the distinction between the cognitive processes that underlie reading fluency and reading comprehension. The results also align with the tenets of Processing Efficiency Theory in that more complex tasks that significantly tax working memory (like reading comprehension) are more likely affected by anxiety than those tasks that do not rely as heavily on working memory (such as reading fluency).

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Supplemental Reference List with DOIs