Research Article  |   May 2011
What Factors Place Children With Speech Sound Disorders at Risk for Reading Problems?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jason L. Anthony
    University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
    University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
  • Rachel Greenblatt Aghara
    University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
    University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
  • Martha J. Dunkelberger
    University of Houston
    University of Houston
  • Teresa I. Anthony
    University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
    University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
  • Jeffrey M. Williams
    University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
    University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
  • Zhou Zhang
    University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
    University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
  • Correspondence to Jason L. Anthony: jason.l.anthony@uth.tmc.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Laura Justice
    Editor and Associate Editor: Laura Justice×
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Article
Research Article   |   May 2011
What Factors Place Children With Speech Sound Disorders at Risk for Reading Problems?
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology May 2011, Vol.20, 146-160. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/10-0053)
History: Accepted 03 Mar 2011 , Received 02 Jun 2010 , Revised 22 Dec 2010
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology May 2011, Vol.20, 146-160. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/10-0053)
History: Accepted 03 Mar 2011 , Received 02 Jun 2010 , Revised 22 Dec 2010

Purpose: To identify weaknesses in print awareness and phonological processing that place children with speech sound disorders (SSDs) at increased risk for reading difficulties.

Method: Language, literacy, and phonological skills of 3 groups of preschool-age children were compared: a group of 68 children with SSDs, a group of 68 peers with normal speech matched on receptive vocabulary, and a group of 68 peers with normal speech and language.

Results: The SSD group demonstrated impairments in expressive phonological awareness (ts = 3.45 to 8.17, ps < .001, effect size [ES] = 0.51 to 1.04), receptive phonological awareness (zs = 2.26 to 5.21, ps ≤ .02, ES = 0.39 to 0.79), accessing phonological representations (zs = 3.34 to 5.83, ps < .001, ES = 0.59 to 0.91), quality of phonological representations (zs = 2.35 to 13.11, ps ≤ .02, ES = 0.44 to 1.56), and word reading (ts = 2.48 to 4.42, ps ≤ .01, ES = 0.22 to 0.54). Analyses of covariance found that lower performances of the SSD group on tests of phonological awareness and word reading could be explained by their weaknesses in quality and accessibility of phonological representations.

Conclusions: The present study makes a significant theoretical contribution to the literature as the first study, to our knowledge, that has tested the hypothesis that weaknesses in representation-related phonological processing may underlie the difficulties in phonological awareness and reading that are demonstrated by children with SSDs.

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