Steacy-Edwards-2022

Authors: Laura M. Steacy, Ashley A. Edwards, Valeria M. Rigobon, Nuria Gutiérrez, Nancy C. Marencin, Noam Siegelman, Alexandra C. Himelhoch, Cristina Himelhoch, Jay Rueckl, Donald L. Compton.

Article: Set for Variability as a Critical Predictor of Word Reading: Potential Implications for Early Identification and Treatment of Dyslexia..

Publication: Reading Research Quarterly (Wiley). First published: 17 August 2022 2022 | DOI: 10.1002/rrq.475

Abstract

Quasiregular orthographies such as English contain substantial ambiguities between orthography and phonology that force developing readers to acquire flexibility during decoding of unfamiliar words, a skill referred to as a “set for variability” (SfV). The ease with which a child can disambiguate the mismatch between the decoded form of a word and its actual lexical phonological form has been operationalized using the SfV mispronunciation task (e.g., the word wasp is pronounced to rhyme with clasp [i.e., /wæsp/] and the child must recognize the actual pronunciation of the word to be /wɒsp/). SfV has been shown to be a significant predictor of word reading variance. However, little is known about the relative strength of SfV as a predictor of word reading compared to other well-established predictors or the strength of this relationship in children with dyslexia. To address these questions, we administered the SfV task to a sample of grade 2–5 children (N = 489) along with other reading related measures. SfV accounted for 15% unique variance in word reading above and beyond other predictors, whereas phonological awareness (PA) accounted for only 1%. Dominance analysis indicated SfV is the most powerful predictor, demonstrating complete statistical dominance over other variables including PA. Quantile regression revealed SfV is a stronger predictor at lower levels of reading skill, indicating it may be an important predictor in students with dyslexia. Results suggest that SfV is a powerful and potentially highly sensitive predictor of early reading difficulties and, therefore, may be important for early identification and treatment of dyslexia.

Tagged as: orthographic depth, phonological awareness, SfV Set for Variability, and word recognition

Citation:

Steacy, L.M., Edwards, A.A., Rigobon, V.M., Gutiérrez, N., Marencin, N.C., Siegelman, N., Himelhoch, A.C., Himelhoch, C., Rueckl, J. and Compton, D.L. (2022), Set for Variability as a Critical Predictor of Word Reading: Potential Implications for Early Identification and Treatment of Dyslexia. Read Res Q. https://doi.org/10.1002/rrq.475

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