Reading and Writing

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 613–629 | Cite as

Viewing a phonological deficit within a multifactorial model of dyslexia

  • Hugh W. CattsEmail author
  • Autumn McIlraith
  • Mindy Sittner Bridges
  • Diane Corcoran Nielsen


Participants were administered multiple measures of phonological awareness, oral language, and rapid automatized naming at the beginning of kindergarten and multiple measures of word reading at the end of second grade. A structural equation model was fit to the data and latent scores were used to identify children with a deficit in phonological awareness alone or in combination with other kindergarten deficits. Children with a deficit in phonological awareness in kindergarten were found to be five times more likely to have dyslexia in second grade than children without such a deficit. This risk ratio substantially increased with the addition of deficits in both oral language and rapid naming. Whereas children with one or more kindergarten deficits were at heighten risk for dyslexia, some of these children were found to be adequate or better readers. These results are discussed within a multifactorial model of dyslexia that includes both risk and protective factors.


Dyslexia Multifactorial model Phonological deficit Early identification 



This study was supported in part by an Institute of Education Sciences Grant (R324 A080118). We thank the Lawrence, Kansas public school district for their participation in this research project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugh W. Catts
    • 1
    Email author
  • Autumn McIlraith
    • 1
  • Mindy Sittner Bridges
    • 2
  • Diane Corcoran Nielsen
    • 2
  1. 1.Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.University of KansasLawrenceUSA

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