Reading and Writing

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 389–410 | Cite as

Children’s morphological awareness and reading ability

  • John R. KirbyEmail author
  • S. Hélène Deacon
  • Peter N. Bowers
  • Leah Izenberg
  • Lesly Wade-Woolley
  • Rauno Parrila


We investigated the effects of morphological awareness on five measures of reading in 103 children from Grades 1 to 3. Morphological awareness was assessed with a word analogy task that included a wide range of morphological transformations. Results indicated that the new measure had satisfactory reliability, and that morphological awareness was a significant predictor of word reading accuracy and speed, pseudoword reading accuracy, text reading speed, and reading comprehension, after controlling the effects of verbal and nonverbal ability and phonological awareness. Morphological awareness also explained variance in reading comprehension after further controlling word reading. We conclude that morphological awareness has important roles in word reading and reading comprehension, and we suggest that it should be included more frequently in assessments and instruction.


Morphological awareness Reading Word analogy Phonological awareness Reading comprehension 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Kirby
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. Hélène Deacon
    • 2
  • Peter N. Bowers
    • 1
  • Leah Izenberg
    • 1
  • Lesly Wade-Woolley
    • 1
  • Rauno Parrila
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Dalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  3. 3.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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