Article/Report  |   August 2007
Relations Among Socioeconomic Status, Age, and Predictors of Phonological Awareness
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Kimberly D. McDowell, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS 67260-0028. E-mail: kim.mcdowell@wichita.edu.
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language
Article/Report   |   August 2007
Relations Among Socioeconomic Status, Age, and Predictors of Phonological Awareness
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2007, Vol. 50, 1079-1092. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/075)
History: Received December 21, 2004 , Revised July 26, 2005 , Accepted December 8, 2006
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2007, Vol. 50, 1079-1092. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/075)
History: Received December 21, 2004; Revised July 26, 2005; Accepted December 8, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 21

Purpose: This study simultaneously examined predictors of phonological awareness within the framework of 2 theories: the phonological distinctness hypothesis and the lexical restructuring model. Additionally, age as a moderator of the relations between predictor variables and phonological awareness was examined.

Method: This cross-sectional quantitative study included a total of 700 participants between 2 and 5 years of age. Participants were identified as being from homes of lower or higher socioeconomic status (SES) based on preschool funding source, and they completed 2 measures of vocabulary, 8 measures of phonological awareness, and 2 measures of speech sound accuracy.

Results: Results indicate that SES, age, speech sound accuracy, and vocabulary each contributed unique variance to the prediction of phonological awareness. Age amplified the relations between speech sound accuracy and phonological awareness and between SES and phonological awareness but not between vocabulary and phonological awareness.

Conclusion: The current study provides further support for both the phonological distinctness hypothesis and the lexical restructuring model. Additionally, this study provides novel information regarding the role that age plays in the prediction models. Specifically, the effects of SES and speech sound accuracy on phonological awareness were amplified by age.

Acknowledgments
Preparation of this work was supported, in part, by Grants HD38880, HD36067, HD36509, and HD30988 awarded to Christopher J. Lonigan from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Grant 90YF0023 from the Administration for Children and Families, and Grant REC-0128970 from the National Science Foundation. Views expressed herein are the authors' and have not been cleared by the grantors.
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