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Matthew effects in young readers: reading comprehension and reading experience aid vocabulary development

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number5
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)431-443
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The authors report data from a longitudinal study of the reading development of children who were assessed in the years of their 8th, 11th, 14th, and 16th birthdays. They examine the evidence for Matthew effects in reading and vocabulary between ages 8 and 11 in groups of children identified with good and poor reading comprehension at 8 years. They also investigate evidence for Matthew effects in reading and vocabulary between 8 and 16 years, in the larger sample. The poor comprehenders showed reduced growth in vocabulary compared to the good comprehenders, but not in word reading or reading comprehension ability. They also obtained lower scores on measures of out-of-school literacy. Analyses of the whole sample revealed that initial levels of reading experience and reading comprehension predicted vocabulary at ages 11, 14, and 16 after controlling for general ability and vocabulary skills when aged 8. The authors discuss these findings in relation to the influence of reading on vocabulary development.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Journal of Learning Disabilities, 44 (5), 2011, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2011 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Journal of Learning Disabilities page: http://ldx.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/