Reading and Writing

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 1353–1380

The double deficit hypothesis in the transparent Finnish orthography: a longitudinal study from kindergarten to Grade 2


    • University of Jyväskylä
  • Rauno Parrila
    • University of Alberta
  • Pekka Niemi
    • University of Turku
  • Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen
    • University of Jyväskylä
  • Anna-Maija Poikkeus
    • University of Jyväskylä
  • Jari-Erik Nurmi
    • University of Jyväskylä

DOI: 10.1007/s11145-012-9423-2

Cite this article as:
Torppa, M., Parrila, R., Niemi, P. et al. Read Writ (2013) 26: 1353. doi:10.1007/s11145-012-9423-2


We examined the double deficit hypothesis (Wolf & Bowers, 1999) and literacy development in a longitudinal dataset of 1,006 Finnish children who were nonreaders at school entry. A single phonological awareness (PA) deficit was a predictor of pseudoword spelling accuracy and reading fluency, and a single rapid automatized naming (RAN) deficit was a predictor of reading fluency. The group with both PA and RAN deficits experienced the most extensive reading and spelling difficulties. However, all groups included both poor and average Grade 2 readers and spellers. Poor letter knowledge and vocabulary, task avoidance, attention difficulties, hyperactivity, and lack of teaching at home were additional risk factors for reading and spelling problems, but their impact varied depending on the presence of PA and RAN deficits.


Double deficitPhonological awarenessRapid automatized namingReading developmentSpelling development

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013