Reading and Writing

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 305–320 | Cite as

Development of phonological awareness during the preschool year: the influence of gender and socio-economic status

  • Ingvar Lundberg
  • Pernilla Larsman
  • Anna Strid


Phonological awareness is a critical enabling skill in learning to read, often developed outside the context of formal reading instruction. More than 2,000 6-year-old children were tested on phonological awareness at two occasions during the preschool year in two cohorts. Between the assessments, a training program was implemented. A two-level path model was applied. More frequent training sessions were connected to higher gains of test scores especially for children with low initial scores in the first cohort. A clear gender effect was also observed. There were more boys with very low initial scores and more girls among the top scorers. A clear SES-effect indicated the influence of early language stimulation. Children who already at the beginning of the preschool year had grasped the alphabetic code had the highest initial scores on the test.


Phonological awareness Gender difference Socio-economic status Two-level modelling Preschool 



Pernilla Larsman was supported by a post-doc grant from the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research. We thank all pre-school teachers in Nacka community in Stockholm County for all valuable support, their skill in doing the testing, implementing the training program and filling out all forms with accuracy and engagement.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.Center for Learning and Language, Nacka CommunityStockholmSweden

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