Language skills, but not frequency discrimination, predict reading skills in children at risk of dyslexia

Margaret J. Snowling, Debbie Gooch, Genevieve McArthur, Charles Hulme*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study evaluated the claim that auditory processing deficits are a cause of reading and language difficulties. We report a longitudinal study of 245 children at family risk of dyslexia, children with preschool language impairments, and control children. Children with language impairments had poorer frequency-discrimination thresholds than controls at 5.5 years, but children at family risk of dyslexia did not. A model assessing longitudinal relationships among frequency discrimination, reading, language, and executive function skills showed that frequency discrimination was predicted by executive skills but was not a longitudinal predictor of reading or language skills. Our findings contradict the hypothesis that frequency discrimination is causally related to dyslexia or language impairment and suggest that individuals at risk for dyslexia or who have language impairments may perform poorly on auditory processing tasks because of comorbid attentional difficulties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1270-1282
Number of pages13
JournalPsychological Science
Volume29
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • frequency discrimination
  • auditory deficits
  • risk of dyslexia
  • language disorder
  • executive skills

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