Volume 39, Issue 2 (2010)
Gender Differences in Early Literacy: Analysis of Kindergarten through Fifth-Grade Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills Probes
Jaime L. Below, Christopher H. Skinner, Jamie Y. Fearrington, and Christy A. Sorrell
Abstract. Using a cross-sectional design and five Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills measures, researchers tested for gender differences in reading skills for 1,218 kindergarten through fifth-grade students. A series of two-way repeated measures analyses of variance with time of year (fall, winter, and spring) serving as the within-subjects variable and gender serving as the between-subjects variable showed girls scored significantly higher than boys on the four kindergarten measures; however, these differences were small. First-grade students were assessed on three of these four measures and there were no significant differences across boys and girls. For the oral reading fluency measure (Grades 1–5), a significant female advantage did not emerge until Grade 4 but was not significant in our Grade 5 sample. By the end of fifth grade, the difference in mean oral reading fluency scores was <1 word correct per minute. Discussion focuses on applied and theoretical implications of these findings, limitations of the study, and directions for future researchers.
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