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Anxiety and Reading Difficulties in Early Elementary School: Evidence for Unidirectional- or Bi-Directional Relations?

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Abstract

The present study examined competing models of the bi-directional influences of anxiety and reading achievement. Participants were 153 ethnically-diverse children (84 male, 69 female) from general education classes evaluated in the winter and spring of their first-grade academic year. Children completed standardized measures of reading achievement involving decoding and fluency along with an anxiety rating scale. Hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed that separation anxiety symptoms were negatively predicted by fluency performance and harm avoidance symptoms were positively predicted by decoding performance. Fluency performance was positively predicted by harm avoidance and total anxiety (for girls only) symptoms, while decoding was not predicted by any anxiety subscale.

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Notes

  1. Additional information about the larger study, its measures, and procedures can be found at: www.texasldcenter.org/outcomes.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported in part by Award Numbers K08HD058020 (PI, Grills-Taquechel) and P50HD052117 (PI, Fletcher), from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development or the National Institutes of Health.

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Correspondence to Amie E. Grills-Taquechel.

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Grills-Taquechel, A.E., Fletcher, J.M., Vaughn, S.R. et al. Anxiety and Reading Difficulties in Early Elementary School: Evidence for Unidirectional- or Bi-Directional Relations?. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 43, 35–47 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-011-0246-1

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