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Code-related skills in preschool DHH children (Werfel et al., 2023)

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posted on 2023-02-07, 18:25 authored by Krystal L. Werfel, Gabriella Reynolds, Lisa Fitton

Purpose: The purpose of this longitudinal investigation was to compare the developmental trajectories of code-related emergent literacy skills of children who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) who use amplification and spoken language across the preschool years.

Method: Thirty children who are DHH and 31 children with typical hearing completed a language and emergent literacy assessment at 6-month intervals from age 4 through 6 years. Growth curve analysis was used to compare developmental trajectories between groups of the code-related skills of phonological awareness, phonological memory, phonological recoding, alphabet knowledge, and conceptual print knowledge.

Results: Growth across the preschool years was observed on all code-related emergent literacy skills across groups. Children who are DHH scored consistently lower than children with typical hearing on phonological awareness, phonological memory, and conceptual print knowledge; no group differences were observed for phonological recoding or alphabet knowledge. No interactions of time and group were significant.

Conclusions: Children who are DHH exhibit consistent deficits in phonological awareness, phonological memory, and conceptual print knowledge across the preschool years and begin formal literacy instruction with a weaker foundation in emergent literacy skills. Future work should focus on optimizing emergent literacy interventions for children who are DHH during the preschool years.

Supplemental Material S1. This document contains materials for the experimental phonological awareness assessment.

Supplemental Material S2. This document contains materials for the experimental digit span assessment.

Supplemental Material S3. This document contains materials for the experimental nonword repetition assessment.

Supplemental Material S4. This document contains materials for the experimental rapid naming assessment.

Supplemental Material S5. This document contains materials for the experimental letter knowledge assessment.

Supplemental Material S6. Sensitivity analyses: phonological processing growth models including nonverbal IQ and maternal education covariates.

Supplemental Material S7. Sensitivity analyses: print knowledge growth models including nonverbal IQ and maternal education covariates.

Supplemental Material S8. Sensitivity analyses: phonological processing growth models including age of amplification. 

Supplemental Material S9. Sensitivity analyses: print knowledge growth models including age of amplification. 

Werfel, K. L., Reynolds, G., & Fitton, L. (2023). A longitudinal investigation of code-related emergent literacy skills in children who are deaf and hard of hearing across the preschool years. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 32(2), 629–644. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_AJSLP-22-00169

Funding

This work was supported in whole by the National Institutes of Health (R03DC014535 to K.L.W.).

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