Monday, July 31, 2006

More on SES and IQ/achievement: SES and phonemic awareness interaction

The following is a post by the blogmaster (Kevin McGrew), who is also a member of IQs Corner Virtual Community of Scholars project.

More on the relationship of SES and cognitive/academic achievement.

The abstract and conclusions for the article below speak for themsevles. Prior related blog posts include genetic/environement/SES interactions and the relations (based on a top-notch meta-analysis study) between SES and academic achievement.

  • Noble, K. , Farah, M. & McCandiss (2006). Socioeconomic background modulates cognition–achievement relationships in reading. Cognitive Development, 21 349–368 (click here to view article)
  • Multiple factors contribute to individual differences in reading ability. The two most thoroughly examined are socioeconomic status (SES) and phonological awareness (PA). Although these factors are often investigated individually, they are rarely considered together. Here we propose that SES systematically influences the relationship between PA and reading ability, and test this prediction in 150 first-graders of varying SES and PA. Results confirm a multiplicative relationship between SES and PA in decoding skills, such that decreased access to resources may amplify cognitive risk factors for poor decoding, whereas greater access to resources may buffer reading skills among children with weaker PA. Attempts to identify the cognitive and experiential factors driving development must acknowledge the complex, synergizing relations between these factors.
  • SES has a systematic effect on reading skills, after controlling for PA. However, the nature of this effect changes, depending on both the reading measure and the PA range examined. SES disparities in decoding are greatest at lower PA levels, whereas SES disparities in single word reading and passage comprehension are consistent across all PA levels. Interventions for poor readers must therefore target both the development of phonological skill and the elimination of key discrepancies in environmental advantage. Attempts to identify the cognitive and experiential factors driving development must likewise acknowledge the potentially complex, synergizing relations between these factors.
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