The current report explores deficits in verbal and nonverbal cognitive skills that are supposed to contribute to poor reading comprehension in the first school years. Four hundred and eighty three Austrian 3rd graders with marked difficulties in a standardized reading comprehension test (percentile lower than 27) were assessed individually with a standardized test of word recognition and nonword reading as well as with a battery of cognitive tests (phoneme deletion, nonword repetition, rapid automatized naming, vocabulary, visual processing speed and Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices). Eighty seven percent of the children with low reading comprehension were also deficient in at least one of the cognitive measures. Whereas 77 % of the children with low reading comprehension showed deficits in linguistic skills, a considerably lower percentage (55 %) showed deficits on the non-linguistic tasks. Fourty-four percent of the sample had difficulties in both linguistic and non-linguistic measures. Children with linguistic deficits performed poorly in basic reading tasks (decoding and fast and automatic word recognition) as well as in reading comprehension and in spelling. Among the children with non-linguistic deficits, only those with additional linguistic deficits had similarly severe literacy problems. Children who were not linguistically impaired had no problems with decoding and word recognition, and their deficits in reading comprehension and spelling were less marked. Our results add well to the evidence in reading research: only children with linguistic deficits were found to be at high risk for developing major difficulties in reading acquisition. A differentiation of poor readers into children with adequate nonverbal IQ (dyslexic) and low nonverbal IQ (garden-variety poor readers) did not show any remarkable differences with respect to reading or cognitive deficits.
|Translated title of the contribution||Cognitive Deficits in Children with Poor Reading Skills|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Psychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|
- Nonverbal deficits
- Phonological deficits
- Poor reading