Differential prediction of word reading by morphological awareness factors

Differential prediction of word reading by morphological awareness factors

First Author: Ashley Edwards -- Florida State University
Additional authors/chairs: 
Laura Steacy; Donald Compton
Keywords: Morphological Awareness, Word reading, Structural equation modelling
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose. We explored the factor structure of 4 morphological awareness tasks and their ability to predict word reading after controlling for vocabulary and phonological awareness using structural equation modeling.
Method. Data from 248 5th grade children assessed on word reading, phonological awareness, vocabulary, morphological relatedness, derivational suffixes with real words, morphological signals, and derivational suffixes with non-words were used in these analyses. We oversampled for kids with reading difficulties such that more children with reading difficulties were in our sample than that would be observed in the population.
Results. Results indicated that the four MA tasks were best represented by 3 factors: morphological relatedness, derivational suffixes with real words, and derivational suffixes with non-words. These factors differentially predicted word reading after controlling for vocabulary and phonological awareness such that morphological relatedness did not contribute significantly whereas the other two factors did. When all factors were combined in the same model, only derivational suffixes with real words contributed uniquely to the prediction of word reading above and beyond the other two MA factors, vocabulary, and phonological awareness.
Conclusions. Results suggest that morphological awareness tasks represent separable factors and that these factors differentially predict word reading after controlling for vocabulary and phonological awareness.