Precursors and Consequences of Phonemic Length Discrimination Ability Problems in Children With Reading Disabilities and Familial Risk for Dyslexia PurposeThe authors investigated the importance of phonemic length discrimination ability on reading and spelling skills among children with reading disabilities and familial risk for dyslexia and among children with typical reading skills, as well as the role of prereading skills in reading and spelling development in children with reading disabilities.MethodFinnish ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2013
Precursors and Consequences of Phonemic Length Discrimination Ability Problems in Children With Reading Disabilities and Familial Risk for Dyslexia
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Riitta Pennala
    University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Kenneth Eklund
    University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Jarmo Hämäläinen
    University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Maisa Martin
    University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Ulla Richardson
    University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Paavo H. T. Leppänen
    University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Heikki Lyytinen
    University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Correspondence to Riitta Pennala: riitta.pennala@jyu.fi
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Marc Joanisse
    Associate Editor: Marc Joanisse×
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   October 01, 2013
Precursors and Consequences of Phonemic Length Discrimination Ability Problems in Children With Reading Disabilities and Familial Risk for Dyslexia
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2013, Vol. 56, 1462-1475. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0072)
History: Received March 2, 2012 , Revised July 2, 2012 , Accepted January 16, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2013, Vol. 56, 1462-1475. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0072)
History: Received March 2, 2012; Revised July 2, 2012; Accepted January 16, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

PurposeThe authors investigated the importance of phonemic length discrimination ability on reading and spelling skills among children with reading disabilities and familial risk for dyslexia and among children with typical reading skills, as well as the role of prereading skills in reading and spelling development in children with reading disabilities.

MethodFinnish children with reading disabilities and discrimination problems (RDDP, n = 13), children with reading disabilities and typical discrimination abilities (RDTD, n = 27), and children with typical reading skills (TR, n = 140) were assessed between the ages of 1 and 6.5 years for language, phonological awareness, IQ, verbal memory, and rapid automatized naming. IQ, discrimination ability, and reading and spelling skills were assessed in the second grade. Statistical differences were examined at the group level.

ResultsThe RDDP group was poorer in spelling accuracy compared with the other groups. The RDDP group's prereading skills were poorer than those of the RDTD group. In regression analyses, the RDDP group's poor spelling skills were partially explained by their discrimination ability.

ConclusionPrereading skills are connected to poor reading skills, but phonemic length discrimination ability plays a critical role in spelling accuracy problems among children with reading disabilities and with familial risk for dyslexia.

Acknowledgments
We would like to thank the families who took part in the study, as well as the Academy of Finland (Project Numbers 44858 and 213486), the Ellen and Artturi Nyyssönen Foundation, and the Finnish Cultural Foundation for funding this research. We also thank Language Services of University of Jyväskylä for polishing the language.
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