Send to

Choose Destination
J Exp Child Psychol. 1998 Aug;70(2):97-116.

What's in a name: Children's knowledge about the letters in their own names.

Author information

Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit 48202, USA.


Two studies were performed to determine whether children's experiences with their own names boost their knowledge about the components of the name, the letters. The children in Study One showed a significant superiority for the initial letter of their own first name in tests of letter-name, but not letter-sound, knowledge. This pattern was found for Australian first graders (mean age 5 years, 5 months), U.S. kindergartners (mean age 5 years, 8 months), and U.S. preschoolers (mean age 4 years, 10 months). Study Two, with U.S. preschoolers (mean age 4 years, 11 months), again revealed an advantage for the initial letter of a child's first name in knowledge of letter names but not knowledge of letter sounds. Moreover, the children were better at printing the initial letter of their own first name than other letters. The results show that different factors are involved in the learning of letter names and letter sounds. They further suggest that children use letter-based strategies with their own names at a time when they are often considered to be "logographic" readers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center