What is it about?

Reading is a critical skill that has effects on one’s academic success and participation as an active citizen. Therefore, it is important to develop effective support systems for children with reading difficulties. In order to do this, we need to understand how reading difficulties develop and how we can identify the children in need of extra support from early on. In this study we examined the different pathways of reading development and whether they can be predicted by kindergarten-age cognitive skills, parental reading difficulties, parental education, or gender. Four developmental profiles were identified: (1) good readers, (2) average readers, (3) poor readers, and (4) early poor readers but whose skills improved over time. The pathways were predicted already in kindergarten: the children with poor reading skills had more often a parent with reading difficulties, a father with low level of education, they were more often boys, and had low scores in the key cognitive skills (simple word decoding skill, rapid automatized naming, phonological skills, letter knowledge, number counting, and vocabulary). The children who resolved their early reading difficulties were more often female and had particularly good number counting and vocabulary skills.

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Why is it important?

The probability for the resolution of reading difficulties increased with higher scores in number counting and vocabulary in kindergarten. These skills may have acted as protective factors or are indicators of skills that better predict long-term reading outcomes. These factors could be useful in designing more effective support systems.

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This page is a summary of: Developmental profiles of reading fluency and reading comprehension from grades 1 to 9 and their early identification., Developmental Psychology, November 2021, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/dev0000976.
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