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. 1997 Nov;33(6):934-45.
doi: 10.1037//0012-1649.33.6.934.

Early Reading Acquisition and Its Relation to Reading Experience and Ability 10 Years Later

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Early Reading Acquisition and Its Relation to Reading Experience and Ability 10 Years Later

A E Cunningham et al. Dev Psychol. .

Abstract

A group of 1st-graders who were administered a battery of reading tasks in a previous study were followed up as 11th graders. Ten years later, they were administered measures of exposure to print, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and general knowledge. First-grade reading ability was a strong predictor of all of the 11th-grade outcomes and remained so even when measures of cognitive ability were partialed out. First-grade reading ability (as well as 3rd- and 5th-grade ability) was reliably linked to exposure to print, as assessed in the 11th grade, even after 11th-grade reading comprehension ability was partialed out, indicating that the rapid acquisition of reading ability might well help develop the lifetime habit of reading, irrespective of the ultimate level of reading comprehension ability that the individual attains. Finally, individual differences in exposure to print were found to predict differences in the growth in reading comprehension ability throughout the elementary grades and thereafter.

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