Understanding Risk for Reading Difficulties in Children With Language Impairment Purpose The purpose of this study was to retrospectively examine the preschool language and early literacy skills of kindergarten good and poor readers, and to determine the extent to which these skills predict reading status. Method Participants were 136 children with language impairment enrolled in early childhood special ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2016
Understanding Risk for Reading Difficulties in Children With Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kimberly A. Murphy
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Laura M. Justice
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Ann A. O'Connell
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Jill M. Pentimonti
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Joan N. Kaderavek
    University of Toledo, OH
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Jill M. Pentimonti is now at American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC.
    Jill M. Pentimonti is now at American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC.×
  • Correspondence to Kimberly Murphy, who is now at the Department of Communication Disorders and Special Education, Darden College of Education, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA: kamurphy@odu.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Jenny Roberts
    Associate Editor: Jenny Roberts×
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2016
Understanding Risk for Reading Difficulties in Children With Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2016, Vol. 59, 1436-1447. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0110
History: Received March 22, 2015 , Revised August 27, 2015 , Accepted April 28, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2016, Vol. 59, 1436-1447. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0110
History: Received March 22, 2015; Revised August 27, 2015; Accepted April 28, 2016

Purpose The purpose of this study was to retrospectively examine the preschool language and early literacy skills of kindergarten good and poor readers, and to determine the extent to which these skills predict reading status.

Method Participants were 136 children with language impairment enrolled in early childhood special education classrooms. On the basis of performance on a word recognition task given in kindergarten, children were classified as either good or poor readers. Comparisons were made across these 2 groups on a number of language and early literacy measures administered in preschool, and logistic regression was used to determine the best predictors of kindergarten reading status.

Results Twenty-seven percent of the sample met criterion for poor reading in kindergarten. These children differed from good readers on most of the skills measured in preschool. The best predictors of kindergarten reading status were oral language, alphabet knowledge, and print concept knowledge. Presence of comorbid disabilities was not a significant predictor. Classification accuracy was good overall.

Conclusion Results suggest that risk of reading difficulty for children with language impairment can be reliably estimated in preschool, prior to the onset of formal reading instruction. Measures of both language and early literacy skills are important for identifying which children are likely to develop later reading difficulties.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by Grant # R324A080037 from the National Center for Special Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences.
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