Differential effects of an early reading intervention: Gains for low-SES students and boys.

Differential effects of an early reading intervention: Gains for low-SES students and boys.

First Author: Prof. Per Henning Uppstad -- Norwegian Reading Centre, University of Stavanger
Additional authors/chairs: 
Oddny Judith Solheim; Jan Frijters; Kjersti Lundetræ
Keywords: Early intervention, Reading disability, early identification, Gender Differences, socioeconomic status
Abstract / Summary: 

Early intervention has been suggested as a promising means to close achievement gaps. As the origin of low pre-reading skills are likely to differ between groups of students, the effectiveness of interventions might be related to group affiliation. Considering the documented overall effectiveness of a randomized controlled trial, the present study investigated the differential effects of this group-delivered reading intervention in three groups of students: SES, language minority background and gender in a randomized controlled trial. Among first-grade students (n= 744) low performing children were identified (n = 140) at school entry. Over 25 weeks they received four weekly sessions in small groups. Results showed that the intervention was most effective for boys and students from low SES families, while minority language status did not add explanatory power beyond SES. The results are discussed against the relations between cause of low skills and persistence of difficulties, suggesting that the intervention may particularly boost low skill levels that are due to environmental factors, ie. due to issues of self-selection of activities and stimulation of emergent literacy skills.