Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An investigation of the relationship between reading comprehension and morphological awareness skills
by Loudermill, Chenell Smith, Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 2014, 115; 3621689
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between reading comprehension and morphological awareness skills. Researchers have documented a wide range of skills that influence reading comprehension ability at different times to different degrees. One of the skills identified as having an influence on reading comprehension ability is morphological awareness. While morphological awareness includes knowledge of several types of morphology, derivational morphology appears to be the most widely studied type of morphology in relation to reading, and appears to be the type of morphology that has the strongest influence on reading comprehension. Three aspects of derivational morphology have been identified in the literature: relational, syntactic, and distributional knowledge. The specific aim of this study was to 1) determine if there are statistically significant differences between knowledge of the three aspects of derivational morphology in good and poor comprehenders and 2) determine if there is a significant correlation between reading comprehension and knowledge of derivational morphology in poor comprehenders.

Participants included sixty fourth-grade students in Central Arkansas. Students who had taken part in the state benchmark assessment prior to entering fourth grade, had documentation of passing a hearing/vision screening within the last 12 months, and those not receiving special education services for reading deficits were recruited. The students were divided into two groups, 30 good comprehenders and 30 poor comprehenders, based on their literacy score of the state benchmark assessment. Each participant was given a reading comprehension assessment and completed three tasks assessing each aspect of derivational morphology independently.

Data analysis revealed significant differences in performance between good and poor comprehenders on all measures. Significant correlations between reading comprehension and knowledge of derivational morphology were found in good comprehenders but not in poor comprehenders. The results provided evidence of developmental differences in the three aspects of derivational morphology in good and poor comprehenders, and revealed information regarding the relationship between reading comprehension and knowledge of derivational morphology in poor comprehenders. These results have implications for providing instruction in morphological awareness to facilitate an increase in knowledge of derivational morphology in poor comprehenders in upper elementary grades.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gentry, Betholyn
Commitee: Hune, Jennifer B., Layton, Kent, Robinson, Gregory, Shapley, Kathy
School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Department: Communication Sciences and Disorders
School Location: United States -- Arkansas
Source: DAI-A 75/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Communication, Literacy, Reading instruction, Curriculum development
Keywords: Comprehension, Derivational morphology, Morphological awareness, Morphology, Poor readers, Reading
Publication Number: 3621689
ISBN: 9781303929717
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