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Bidirectional relations between phonological awareness and letter knowledge in preschool revisited: A growth curve analysis of the relation between two code-related skills

Despite the importance of phonological awareness for the development of reading in alphabetic languages, little attention has been paid to its developmental origins. In this study, dual-process, latent growth models were used to examine patterns of bidirectional relations between letter knowledge and phonological awareness during preschool. The sample comprised 358 children (mean age = 48.60 months, SD = 7.26). Growth models were used to quantify the unique longitudinal relations between the initial level of each skill and growth in the other skill during the preschool year, after controlling for initial level of the same skill, vocabulary, age, and growth in the code-related skill being used as a predictor. Letter-name knowledge and phonological awareness were bidirectionally related; the initial level of each uniquely predicted growth in the other. Initial letter-sound knowledge and phonological awareness growth were not uniquely related, and vocabulary was not related to growth in phonological awareness. These findings extend the evidence of the relation between letter knowledge and phonological awareness to supra-phonemic tasks, indicating that this bidirectional relation begins at an earlier point in the development of phonological awareness than previously reported. In addition, these findings help to rule out general growth in letter knowledge and phonological awareness as an alternative explanation for the bidirectional relation between these two code-related skills. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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