It is well established that speech, language, and phonological skills are closely associated with literacy, and that children with a family risk of dyslexia (FRD) tend to show deficits in each of these areas in the preschool years. This paper examines what the relationships are between these skills, and whether deficits in speech, language and phonological processing account for the increased risk of dyslexia in children with FRD. 153 4-6 year old children, 44 of whom had an FRD, completed a battery of speech, language, phonology, and literacy tasks. Word reading and spelling was retested six months later, and text reading accuracy and reading comprehension were tested three years later. Phonological processing predicted early word reading and spelling, while language predicted text reading accuracy and comprehension. Speech did not play a significant role, though children with FRD showed greater speech difficulties. The children with FRD were at increased risk of developing difficulties in reading accuracy, but not reading comprehension. FRD was a significant additional predictor of reading and spelling after controlling for speech, language and phonological processing, suggesting that children with FRD show additional difficulties in literacy that cannot be fully explained in terms of their language and phonological skills.
Bibliographical noteThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Carroll, J.M. , Mundy, I.R. and Cunningham, A.J. (2014) The roles of family history of dyslexia, language, speech production and phonological processing in predicting literacy progress. Developmental Science, volume 17 (5): 727–742, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/desc.12153. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-820227.html#terms).
FunderEconomic and Social Research Council