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An investigation of the effects of an intensive early literacy support program on the phonological processing skills of kindergarten children at-risk of emotional and behavioral disorders

Gregory Jon Benner, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The central purpose addressed for this dissertation study was to examine the effects of an intensive early literacy support program on the phonological processing skills of kindergarten children at-risk of EBD. Some research suggests that these children do not improve from generally effective early literacy support interventions. As a result, these children have recently been described as treatment resisters—children who fail to acquire phonological processing skills within the normal range after treatment. But the conclusion that children at-risk of EBD are treatment resisters may be premature due to the methodological and design limitations of previous research. The primary purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the effects of an intensive early literacy support program on the phonological processing skills of kindergarten children at-risk of EBD using a true experimental design. ^ A total of 36 kindergarten children at-risk of EBD participated in this study. The 36 children were assigned randomly to either the experimental ( n = 18) or control (n = 18) condition. Children in the experimental condition received an early literacy support program for 10 to 15 minutes daily over five weeks. Three primary dependent measures were used in this study: the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) (Wagner, Torgesen, & Rashotte, 1999); the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) (Kaminski & Good, 1996); and treatment fidelity measures. ^ Treatment fidelity according to tutor self-evaluations and independent direct observation was 97% and 100%. In all cases, the mean post-test CTOPP Phonological and Rapid Naming clusters as well as DIBELS Initial Sound Fluency, Nonsense Word Fluency, Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, and Letter Naming Fluency probe scores of children in the experimental condition were greater than those in the control condition. The mean differences between children in the experimental and control conditions across all post-test CTOPP and DIBELS fluency probe scores were statistically significant. The effect sizes for the CTOPP Rapid Naming and CTOPP Phonological Awareness were 1.35 and 1.10, respectively. The effect sizes for the DIBELS Initial Sound Fluency, Nonsense Word Fluency, Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, and Letter Naming Fluency probes were 1.50, 1.38, 0.86, and 0.70, respectively. ^

Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Special|Education, Reading

Recommended Citation

Benner, Gregory Jon, "An investigation of the effects of an intensive early literacy support program on the phonological processing skills of kindergarten children at-risk of emotional and behavioral disorders" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3092527.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3092527

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