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Early Predictors of Reading Comprehension Difficulties
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Tidiga prediktorer för läsförståelseproblem (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present thesis was to examine the cognitive and language profile in children with poor reading comprehension using a longitudinal perspective. Even though comprehension skills are closely connected to educational success, comprehension deficits in children have been neglected in reading research. Understanding factors underlying reading is important as it improves possibilities of early identification of children at risk of developing reading problems. In addition, targeted interventions may prevent or reduce future problems. Descriptions of the cognitive and language profile in children with different types of reading problems from an early age and over time is an important first step.

The three studies included in this thesis have been conducted using data from the International Longitudinal Twin Study (ILTS). In the ILTS, parallel data have been collected in the US, Australia, Sweden and Norway. Altogether, more than 1000 twin pairs have been examined between the ages 5 and 15 years using well known predictors of reading, along with decoding, spelling, reading comprehension and oral language measures.

In the three studies, the Simple View of Reading has been used as a theoretical framework and children who exhibited different kinds of comprehension related difficulties have been identified at different ages. The studies include both retrospective and prospective analyses. The results across studies indicated a robust oral language deficit in all subtypes displaying comprehension problems. The oral language deficit was widespread and included vocabulary, grammar and verbal memory. In addition, the oral language deficit was manifested as compromised phonological awareness and print knowledge prior to reading instruction. Reading comprehension deficits were late emerging across studies in children with comprehension difficulties.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med avhandlingen har varit att undersöka den kognitiva och språkliga profilen hos barn med läsförståelseproblem i ett longitudinellt perspektiv. Förståelserelaterade problem är eftersatt del av läsforskningen, trots att denna typ av svårigheter har visat sig få stora konsekvenser för fortsatt framgång i skolan. Att förstå underliggande faktorer när det gäller läsning är viktigt för att kunna identifiera barn tidigt i utvecklingen och anpassa undervisningen efter deras behov. Att beskriva barnens kognitiva och språkliga profil från tidig ålder och över tid är ett viktigt första steg i detta arbete.

De tre studierna som ingår i avhandlingen har baserats på data från the International Longitudinal Twin Study (ILTS). I projektet har data samlats in i USA, Australien, Sverige och Norge. Sammanlagt har mer än 1000 tvillingpar testas vid upprepade tillfällen i åldersspannet 5 till 15 år. Testmaterialet innefattar ett stort batteri av språkliga och kognitiva tester, samt tester i läsning och stavning.

Med utgångspunk i the Simple View of Reading har grupper av barn med olika typer av förståelseproblem identifierats vid olika tidpunkter i utvecklingen. Studierna innehåller både retrospektiva och prospektiva analyser. Resultaten visar en tydligt bred språklig nedsättning hos barnen med förståelserelaterade problem som visar sig tydligt i mätningar av ordförråd, grammatik och verbalt minne. Problemen är stabila över tid och visar sig tidigt i utvecklingen även som fonologiska svårigheter. Svag språklig profil påverkar inte läsförståelse förrän barnen gått i skolan ett antal år.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. , 80 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 186
Keyword [en]
Reading comprehension, poor comprehenders, longitudinal study, early identification, reading disability, Läsförståelse, poor comprehenders, longitudinell studie, tidig identifiering, lässvårigheter
National Category
Didactics Pedagogy Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-110036DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-110036ISBN: 978-91-7519-281-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-110036DiVA: diva2:742383
Public defence
2014-09-19, I101, Hus I, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-09-01 Created: 2014-09-01 Last updated: 2014-09-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Longitudinal stability and predictors of poor oral comprehenders and poor decoders
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Longitudinal stability and predictors of poor oral comprehenders and poor decoders
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2013 (English)In: Journal of experimental child psychology (Print), ISSN 0022-0965, E-ISSN 1096-0457, Vol. 115, no 3, 497-516 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Two groups of fourth-grade children were selected from a population sample (= 926) to be either poor oral comprehenders (poor oral comprehension but normal word decoding) or poor decoders (poor decoding but normal oral comprehension). By examining both groups in the same study with varied cognitive and literacy predictors, and examining them both retrospectively and prospectively, we could assess how distinctive and stable the predictors of each deficit are. Predictors were assessed retrospectively at preschool and at the end of kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2. Group effects were significant at all test occasions, including those for preschool vocabulary (worse in poor oral comprehenders) and rapid automatized naming (RAN) (worse in poor decoders). Preschool RAN and vocabulary prospectively predicted Grade 4 group membership (77–79% correct classification) within the selected samples. Reselection in preschool of “at-risk” poor decoder and poor oral comprehender subgroups based on these variables led to significant but relatively weak prediction of subtype membership at Grade 4. Implications of the predictive stability of our results for identification and intervention of these important subgroups are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013
Keyword
Early identification, Simple view of reading, Poor decoders, Poor oral comprehenders, Reading disability, Longitudinal study
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-92780 (URN)10.1016/j.jecp.2012.12.001 (DOI)000320740400008 ()
Available from: 2013-05-22 Created: 2013-05-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. A Retrospective Longitudinal Study of Cognitive and Language Skills in Poor Reading Comprehension
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Retrospective Longitudinal Study of Cognitive and Language Skills in Poor Reading Comprehension
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2014 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Fifty-six specific poor reading comprehenders (SPRC) were selected in grade 4 and retrospectively compared to good comprehenders at preschool age 5 and at the end of kindergarten, grade 1 and 2. The results showed a widespread language-deficit profile in children with SPRC, including deficits in vocabulary, grammar, verbal memory and early phonological awareness in a large part of the sample beginning in preschool. The reading comprehension deficits in children with SPRC were not as apparent in earlier assessments at grade 1 and 2, likely because of the greater dependence on word decoding in reading comprehension in the early grades.

Keyword
poor comprehenders, reading comprehension, longitudinal study, preschool language skills, core deficits
National Category
Educational Sciences Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-110034 (URN)
Available from: 2014-09-01 Created: 2014-09-01 Last updated: 2014-09-01Bibliographically approved
3. Pattern of Preschool Prediction of Reading Comprehension Impairment: A 10 Year Longitudinal Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pattern of Preschool Prediction of Reading Comprehension Impairment: A 10 Year Longitudinal Study
2014 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Compromised reading comprehension will invariably influence future academic achievements. In reading research there has been an emphasis on early identification of poor decoders to reduce future difficulties. Only a few studies have examined preschool prediction of reading comprehension impairments beyond the first grades of school, and these studies have presented different patterns of results. As studies have mostly been conducted in English; it is unclear how the results generalize to languages with transparent orthographies. In this study, a Swedish and a Norwegian twin sample were used to predict reading comprehension and decoding impairments in grade 2, 4 and 8/9 from preschool. The results suggested an important role for RAN and verbal memory. Compromised RAN was consistently associated with the poor decoders, as well as in identifying poor reading comprehenders in grade 8/9. Verbal memory tasks at preschool contributed to the identification of children with reading comprehension impairment across grades.

Keyword
Reading comprehension, reading disabilities, longitudinal study
National Category
Educational Sciences Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-110035 (URN)
Available from: 2014-09-01 Created: 2014-09-01 Last updated: 2014-09-01Bibliographically approved

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