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J Learn Disabil. 2010 Jul-Aug;43(4):332-45. doi: 10.1177/0022219410369067. Epub 2010 May 12.

Kindergarten predictors of second versus eighth grade reading comprehension impairments.

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University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, USA.


Multiple studies have shown that kindergarten measures of phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge are good predictors of reading achievement in the primary grades. However, less attention has been given to the early predictors of later reading achievement. This study used a modified best-subsets variable-selection technique to examine kindergarten predictors of early versus later reading comprehension impairments. Participants included 433 children involved in a longitudinal study of language and reading development. The kindergarten test battery assessed various language skills in addition to phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, naming speed, and nonverbal cognitive ability. Reading comprehension was assessed in second and eighth grades. Results indicated that different combinations of variables were required to optimally predict second versus eighth grade reading impairments. Although some variables effectively predicted reading impairments in both grades, their relative contributions shifted over time. These results are discussed in light of the changing nature of reading comprehension over time. Further research will help to improve the early identification of later reading disabilities.

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