Low self-concept in poor readers: prevalence, heterogeneity, and risk

Genevieve McArthur*, Anne Castles, Saskia Kohnen, Erin Banales

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)
    34 Downloads (Pure)


    There is evidence that poor readers are at increased risk for various types of low self-concept-particularly academic self-concept. However, this evidence ignores the heterogeneous nature of poor readers, and hence the likelihood that not all poor readers have low self-concept. The aim of this study was to better understand which types of poor readers have low self-concept. We tested 77 children with poor reading for their age for four types of self-concept, four types of reading, three types of spoken language, and two types of attention. We found that poor readers with poor attention had low academic self-concept, while poor readers with poor spoken language had low general self-concept in addition to low academic self-concept. In contrast, poor readers with typical spoken language and attention did not have low self-concept of any type.Wealso discovered that academic self-concept was reliably associated with reading and receptive spoken vocabulary, and that general self-concept was reliably associated with spoken vocabulary. These outcomes suggest that poor readers with multiple impairments in reading, language, and attention are at higher risk for low academic and general self- concept, and hence need to be assessed for self-concept in clinical practice. Our results also highlight the need for further investigation into the heterogeneous nature of self- concept in poor readers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere2669
    Pages (from-to)1-25
    Number of pages25
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2016

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • Cumulative risk
    • Dyslexia
    • Heterogeneity
    • Inattention
    • Language impairment
    • Poor readers
    • Prevalence
    • Self-concept


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