Sources of individual differences in reading acquisition

David L. Share, Anthony F. Jorm, Rod Maclean, Russell Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Administered a parent questionnaire on home educational environment and measures of early literacy, oral language ability, motor skills, and individual abilities related to reading achievement for 543 Austrialian Ss (mean age 5 yrs 3 mo) when they began kindergarten. Reading achievement measures were administered individually to Ss during the final 6 wks of kindergarten and again at the end of Grade 1. Results show that the strongest predictors of reading achievement were tasks tapping phonological processing skills, interdigital dexterity, and familiarity with the alphabetic code of English script. Individual attributes accounted for 63% of the variance in reading achievement at the end of kindergarten and 59% at the end of Grade 1. A short-set of 5 predictors (phoneme segmentation, letter copying, sex, letter names, and sentence memory) is suggested as a screening test for the early identification of reading-disabled Ss. When the effect of ability composition of S's class and school was assessed, it accounted for 9% of kindergarten and 6% of Grade 1 reading achievement variance. Peer ability was as strong a predictor of individual reading achievement as was individual ability. (50 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1309-1324
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • predictors & sources of individual differences in reading acquisition, Ss during kindergarten & 1st grade, Australia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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