Relations Among Socioeconomic Status, Age, and Predictors of Phonological Awareness

McDowell, Kimberly D.; Lonigan, Christopher J.; Goldstein, Howard
August 2007
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Aug2007, Vol. 50 Issue 4, p1079
Academic Journal
Purpose: This study simultaneously examined predictors of phonological awareness within the framework of 2 theories: the phonological distinctness hypothesis and the lexical restructuring model. Additionally, age as a moderator of the relations between predictor variables and phonological awareness was examined. Method: This cross-sectional quantitative study included a total of 700 participants between 2 and 5 years of age. Participants were identified as being from homes of lower or higher socioeconomic status (SES) based on preschool funding source, and they completed 2 measures of vocabulary, 8 measures of phonological awareness, and 2 measures of speech sound accuracy. Results: Results indicate that SES, age, speech sound accuracy, and vocabulary each contributed unique variance to the prediction of phonological awareness. Age amplified the relations between speech sound accuracy and phonological awareness and between SES and phonological awareness but not between vocabulary and phonological awareness. Conclusion: The current study provides further support for both the phonological distinctness hypothesis and the lexical restructuring model. Additionally, this study provides novel information regarding the role that age plays in the prediction models. Specifically, the effects of SES and speech sound accuracy on phonological awareness were amplified by age.


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