Examining Multiple Sources of Risk for Reading Difficulties in the Primary Grades: The Roles of Child, Instructional, and Environmental Characteristics

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-6197-9537
Kehoe, Karen, Education - School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
Solari, Emily, CU-Curr Instr & Sp Ed, University of Virginia
McGinty, Anita

This three-manuscript dissertation explored risk and protective factors that influence the early reading development of children across the primary grades (i.e., kindergarten through second grade; K-2). The guiding framework for this work was the Lattice Model (Connor et al., 2014; Connor, 2016), which emphasizes multiple domain-specific (i.e., text-/code-based and linguistic) and domain-general (i.e., social, cognitive, regulatory) child-level skills and processes; the role of early reading instruction; and home, community, and developmental processes that shape children’s reading trajectories over time.

Manuscript One employed multi-level modeling to predict children’s word-reading skills in the spring of first grade from behavioral self-regulation and foundational literacy skills, both assessed in the fall of kindergarten, among a large sample (N = 5,480) of children at high risk for reading difficulty. This study also explored self-regulation as a protective factor for young children at greatest risk.

Manuscript Two predicted K-2 teachers’ (N = 34) instructional priorities, lesson planning, and observed classroom practice from their knowledge about reading development and their self-efficacy expectancy beliefs for teaching reading to diverse learners. This study also explored patterns of alignment and misalignment among teachers’ reading-related knowledge, beliefs, and practice.

Manuscript Three leveraged longitudinal, population-level data (N = 716,899) and a quasi-experimental study design (short, interrupted time series [SITS]) to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fall, first-grade literacy skills of over 63,000 children from across the state of Virginia who had been enrolled in kindergarten at the onset of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. It also investigated heterogeneous effects on children from economic disadvantage.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
early literacy development, early reading development, reading, science of reading, reading difficulties, COVID-19, pandemic, at-risk
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