With a one-stage meta-analytic structural equation modeling (MASEM) analysis based on 49,416 individuals from 267 independent samples and 210 studies, the current study systematically investigated models including meta-linguistic skills, decoding, language comprehension, and reading comprehension for Chinese population. Findings showed that (1) decoding and language comprehension were moderately related and together explained 52.7% variance of reading comprehension; (2) meta-linguistic skills made significant direct and unique contributions to decoding and showed a strong relation with language comprehension; however, meta-linguistic skills did not make direct contributions to reading comprehension beyond decoding and language comprehension; (3) location (Mainland vs. Hong Kong) did not emerge as a significant moderator in the model; (4) grade level significantly explained the between-study heterogeneity on the relation between decoding and reading comprehension, such that decoding made more contributions to reading comprehension before Grade 2 than after; and (5) the effects of language comprehension on reading comprehension stayed stable with grade, and so did meta-linguistic skills on decoding. These findings, taken together, suggest that the Simple View of Reading can be applied to reading in nonalphabetic languages such as Chinese. For Chinese reading development, Grade 2 may be the transitional grade where the effects of decoding on reading comprehension started to decrease significantly. The null direct effects of meta-linguistics skills on reading comprehension further support the parsimonious structure of Simple View of Reading (decoding and language comprehension) in explaining reading comprehension in Chinese.
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