Early identification of dyslexia and word reading development: Using cognitive and linguistic assessments to predict reading skill growth in early elementary school
Abstract: Theories of and research on the etiology of dyslexia consistently point to two primary deficits of phonology and automaticity. Previous research has found that performance on early assessments of phonological awareness and automaticity are predictive of reading abilities in early elementary school. This study used secondary data from 161 students who were followed prior to beginning elem... read moreentary school through the end of second grade. These students were assessed in each grade using a variety of cognitive and linguistic measures. Multi-level models were estimated to assess the growth rates of word identification and to compare growth rates for students who performed poorly on assessments of phonological awareness and automaticity before beginning elementary school. Further analyses were conducted to assess where the availability of curriculum that incorporated explicit phonics instruction moderated the relationship between performance on assessments of phonological awareness and automaticity before beginning elementary school and growth rates of word identification. Students who performed in the bottom quartile of a normed sample on measures of phonological awareness or phonological awareness and automaticity upon or prior to entering kindergarten had significantly lower rates of growth on word identification than their typically developing peers during the scope of the study. The availability of curriculum that incorporated explicit phonics instruction was not predictive of significant differences in the word identification growth rates for students who performed poorly on assessments of phonological awareness and automaticity before beginning elementary school. These findings bolster support for the predictive nature of phonological awareness and automaticity and indicated that deficits in these areas can be detected before a child begins formal education.
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2018.
Submitted to the Dept. of Child Development.
Advisor: Calvin Gidney.
Committee: Sara Johnson, and Ola Ozernov-Palchik.
Keywords: Developmental psychology, and Educational psychology.read less