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J Learn Disabil. 2001 Nov-Dec;34(6):545-54.

Newborn and preschool predictors of second-grade reading scores: an evaluation of categorical and continuous scores.

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  • 1University of Louisville, Center for Research in Early Childhood, School of Education, KY 40292, USA.


This study examined how the development of foundation skills in speech perception, language, short-term memory, and family demographics and activities in the home environment influence the development of reading skills. Data from 96 children participating in a longitudinal research project were used. It was hypothesized that measures of specific foundation skills in the preschool period and measures of family demographics and home environment could be used to identify children's reading abilities. As expected, most of the foundation skills were found to be related to and predictive of reading scores. Event-related potential (ERP) measures of speech perception, which have previously been found to be predictive of reading abilities, and measures of family and home activities and language measures were related to reading scores. Verbal short-term memory scores contributed little to the prediction of reading scores. These variables influenced the results whether they were used to discriminate reading groups or to predict a continuum of reading scores, but there were large differences in the amount of variance accounted for. More variance was accounted for in the group analyses than in the continuum analyses.

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