Cost-Effective Prediction of Reading Difficulties This study addressed 2 questions: (a) Can preschoolers who will fail at reading be more efficiently identified by targeting those at highest risk for reading problems? and (b) will auditory temporal processing (ATP) improve the accuracy of identification derived from phonological processing and oral language ability? A sample of 227 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2004
Cost-Effective Prediction of Reading Difficulties
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Steve M. Heath
    The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia
  • John H. Hogben
    The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: steve@psy.uwa.edu.au
  • Contact author: Steve Heath, MPsych, PhD, School of Psychology, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley 6009, Australia. E-mail: steve@psy.uwa.edu.au
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2004
Cost-Effective Prediction of Reading Difficulties
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2004, Vol. 47, 751-765. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/057)
History: Received January 13, 2003 , Revised June 26, 2003 , Accepted January 23, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2004, Vol. 47, 751-765. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/057)
History: Received January 13, 2003; Revised June 26, 2003; Accepted January 23, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 23

This study addressed 2 questions: (a) Can preschoolers who will fail at reading be more efficiently identified by targeting those at highest risk for reading problems? and (b) will auditory temporal processing (ATP) improve the accuracy of identification derived from phonological processing and oral language ability? A sample of 227 preschoolers was screened for Performance IQ and was tested on phonological awareness (PA). The upper and lower quartiles of the PA distribution were selected as being at lowest and highest risk, respectively, for reading failure. Children with good and poor PA were tested on ATP, phonological short-term memory, rapid automatized naming, oral language, receptive vocabulary, and 2 measures of listening comprehension. Reading outcomes were measured at the end of Year 2. Only 1 child in he good-PA group became a poor reader by the end of Year 2, confirming that being in the top quartile for PA predicts positive reading outcomes. Discriminant analysis using the authors’ test battery within the poor-PA group identified poor readers with sensitivity of.91 and specificity of.84, but ATP did not improve classification accuracy afforded by phonological and oral language. A brief screening procedure was formulated using only PA, phonological short-term memory, and demographic variables, with which 80% of children with poor PA who are at risk of reading problems can be identified. Further refinements of this screening procedure would increase accuracy of identification at the cost of only a small increment in required testing time.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the Financial Markets Foundation for Children and by the Australian Research Council.
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