Clusters of second and third grade dysfluent urban readers

Margaret E. Pierce, Tami Katzir, Maryanne Wolf, Gil G. Noam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the heterogeneity within a sample of 140 urban second and third graders identified as at-risk for reading failure due to inefficient word and/or nonword reading. Cluster analyses were conducted using standardized factor scores from a four-factor structural equation model characterizing reading performance in this sample. These standardized factor scores represented performance on four distinct factors: efficiency of word-level skills, text level skills, decoding, and vocabulary. Results identified four clusters of children who show distinctive patterns of performance on the four factors of reading. These understudied groups show different compositions along demographic categories and reading disability categories. Additionally, they have unique instructional needs that call for differentiated instruction in the domains of phonological decoding, fluency, text reading, and vocabulary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-907
Number of pages23
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This study was part of a reading and social emotional intervention project (The New 3R’s—Reading, Resilience, and Relationships in Afterschool Programs) conducted at Harvard University, Tufts University, and McLean Hospital, and funded by the Department of Education, awarded under the Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI) (CFDA #84.305W), and the Piper Foundation, USA. The authors would like to thank Sally Wilson for her work coordinating this study, and Adrianna Wechsler, Larina Mehta, and Chessie Shaw for assistance with data collection and entry. We are also grateful to Nonie K. Lesaux, Terry Tivnan, Catherine Snow, and three anonymous reviewers, who provided important feedback in improving the write-up of the study.


  • Cluster analysis
  • Reading disability
  • Reading fluency
  • Subtypes
  • Urban children
  • Vocabulary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


Dive into the research topics of 'Clusters of second and third grade dysfluent urban readers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this