The Relation of Morphological Awareness to Language and Reading Skills: A Meta-analysis

The Relation of Morphological Awareness to Language and Reading Skills: A Meta-analysis

First Author: Joong won Lee -- University of California, Irvine
Additional authors/chairs: 
Alissa Patricia Wolters; Young-Suk Kim
Keywords: Meta-analysis, Reading development, Literacy development, Literacy Skills, Reading acquisition
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: We examined the relation of morphological awareness with other language and reading skills such as vocabulary, phonological awareness, orthographic awareness, word reading/decoding, spelling, reading fluency, and reading comprehension, and potential moderators of the relations.

Method: Articles and studies were searched using multiple databases. Of the initially identified 5,232 articles, a total of 64 articles (N = 16,119) met our inclusion criteria: studies published from 1980 to 2018, published in English, include pre-K to adult participants, and report the relation of morphological awareness with at least one of the aforementioned skills (e.g., vocabulary, word reading).

Results: Morphological awareness was, on average, moderately to fairly strongly related to all the language and reading skills above – vocabulary (r = .48), phonological awareness (r = .32), orthographic awareness (r = .38), word reading/decoding, (r = .44), spelling (r = .49), reading fluency (r = .67), and reading comprehension (r = .56). Moderator analyses showed that the relations varied by grades, orthographic depth, and type of morphological awareness (e.g., derivation vs. compound).

Conclusion: These results reveal the importance of morphological awareness in multiple reading skills. Furthermore, moderator analysis indicates that the relation varies as a function of multiple factors.