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ERIC Number: ED528024
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 176
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-6221-6
Reading First, or Is It? An Examination of the Interrelationship between Reading Achievement and Behavioral Problem Trajectories across Elementary School for Children from Disadvantaged Circumstances
Clark, Teresa Parton
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
Reading is a necessary skill in our modern society and is increasingly critical for success in our highly technological society. Yet many children from low-SES backgrounds struggle to develop reading proficiency (Lee, Grigg, & Donahue, 2007) and continuing concerns about this pervasive relationship has led to an increased focus on creating more effective interventions to address these differences in reading development. Despite these efforts this disparity in reading proficiency continues (Lee, Grigg, & Donahue, 2007), but most of the intervention efforts to date have been focused almost exclusively on improving a limited set of early reading sub-skills and ignores the larger context of child development within a low-SES family. This heavy focus on ameliorating early deficits in reading proficiency is founded upon a belief in a "Matthew Effect" for reading. The "Matthew Effect" model hypothesizes that early deficits are expected to lead to a cumulative disadvantage over time, with lower entry skills leading to a slower rate of growth in future reading skills. However, there is contradictory findings concerning the existence of a "Matthew Effect" for reading with several studies suggesting that children follow a more compensatory trajectory in reading development (Aarnouste et al., 2001; Parrila et al., 2005; Phillips et al., 2002) and others suggesting that that there are multiple trajectories of reading development (Aunola et al., 2002; Lepannen et al., 2004; Parrila et al., 2005). Further, very few studies have specifically looked at the reading development of American children from low-SES families. If factors other than initial endowment are related to the slower rate of growth for children from low-SES families, then early intervention alone may not be sufficient to effectively address the reading deficits typically found in this population. One of these other factors may be the higher rate of behavior problems typically displayed by these children (NCES, 2000; Zill et al., 1995). A better understanding of the reading development of children from low-SES families is essential to guide effective interventions to address their persistent deficit in reading proficiency. In order to extend the research regarding the reading development of children from low-SES families, the present study used the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) dataset to examine: 1.) What trajectories the reading development of children follow and whether the "Matthew Effect" model is the most representative model for the reading development of children from low-SES families and 2.) Whether the presence of comorbid behavior problems is related to the slower growth in reading skills commonly found for children from low-SES families. Results suggested that on average children from low-SES families did enter school with lower initial reading skills and a higher rate of teacher reported behavior problems. Further children followed multiple trajectories of reading development, with the largest percentage following a parallel trajectory and two smaller groups following either a cumulative or compensatory trajectory. Socioeconomic status was associated with the type of trajectory followed; children from lower SES families were significantly more likely to follow a cumulative trajectory consistent with the "Matthew Effect". However, analyses showed that children from low-SES families demonstrated slower growth in reading even when initial reading scores were controlled for suggesting that other factors than reading proficiency at school entry may be associated with this slower growth. There was limited support for the hypothesis that a higher rate of behavior problems was associated with the slower reading growth of children from low-SES families. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey