Assessment of individual differences in phonological representation
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- Anthony, J.L., Williams, J.M., Aghara, R.G. et al. Read Writ (2010) 23: 969. doi:10.1007/s11145-009-9185-7
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Individual differences in abilities to form, access, and hone phonological representations of words are implicated in the development of oral and written language. This study addressed two important gaps in the literature concerning measurement of individual differences in phonological representation. First, we empirically examined the dimensionality of phonological representation abilities. Second, we empirically compared how well typical measures index various representation-related phonological processing abilities. Specifically, nine measures of accessibility to and distinctness of phonological presentations were administered to 175 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children. Confirmatory factor analysis validated three separate but correlated phonological processing abilities, i.e., efficiency of accessing phonological codes, precision of phonological codes as reflected in speech production, and precision of phonological codes as reflected in speech perception. The named phonological processing abilities were equally good measures of a second-order phonological representation factor. While most prototypic measures were excellent indicators of first-order phonological abilities, they were only modest indicators of phonological representation.