Literacy Acquisition Influences Children's Rapid Automatized Naming

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College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology


Previous research has established that learning to read improves children's performance on reading‐related phonological tasks, including phoneme awareness (PA) and nonword repetition. Few studies have investigated whether literacy acquisition also promotes children's rapid automatized naming (RAN). We tested the hypothesis that literacy acquisition should influence RAN in an international, longitudinal population sample of twins. Cross‐lagged path models evaluated the relationships among literacy, PA, and RAN across four time points from pre‐kindergarten through grade 4. Consistent with previous research, literacy showed bidirectional relationships with reading‐related oral language skills. We found novel evidence for an effect of earlier literacy on later RAN, which was most evident in children at early phases of literacy development. In contrast, the influence of earlier RAN on later literacy was predominant among older children. These findings imply that the association between these two related skills is moderated by development. Implications for models of reading development and for dyslexia research are discussed.

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