Validation of a dyslexia screener for children

Validation of a dyslexia screener for children

First Author: Trude Nergård-Nilssen -- UiT - The Arctic University of Norway
Additional authors/chairs: 
Monica Melby-Lervåg
Keywords: Developmental dyslexia, test validation, Cognitive skills, young readers, Screening
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: This study investigates the psychometric properties of a digital screener for Norwegian children at risk for dyslexia. The screener was designed to assess key markers of dyslexia, and was was administered to children from ages 4 ½ through 13 years.

Method: Participants (N = 1,100) completed tasks of word reading, spelling, phoneme awareness, rapid automatized naming, and working memory. Their parents completed questionnaires that inquired about language development and family risk of dyslexia.

Results: The results will (in due time for the conference) be analysed using a confirmatory factor to establish construct validity and control for measurement error. Further, we will use logistic regression and ROC-curve analyses to examine discriminatory power. Finally, predictive validity of the screener will be evaluated against Norwegian national tests of reading, and against a group of children already diagnosed with dyslexia.

Conclusions: We aim to establish that the screener meets the standards for psychometric properties – including accuracy, reliability and validity. The properties will be investigated in line with the EFPA Test Review Model. Given that the psychometric properties are satisfactory, this screener has the potential to be a valid and useful tool for teachers to identify young students at risk for dyslexia and who thus need to be referred to a full diagnostic investigation.