Volume 40, Issue 1 (2011)
Prereading Deficits in Children in Foster Care
Katherine C. Pears, Cynthia V. Heywood, Hyoun K. Kim, & Philip A. Fisher
Abstract. Reading skills are core competencies in children’s readiness to learn and may be particularly important for children in foster care, who are at risk for academic difficulties and higher rates of special education placement. In this study, pre-reading skills (phonological awareness, alphabetic knowledge, and oral language ability) and kindergarten performance of 63 children in foster care were examined just before and during the fall of kindergarten. The children exhibited pre-reading deficits with average pre-reading scores that fell at the 30th to 40th percentile. Variations in pre-reading skills (particularly phonological awareness) predicted kindergarten teacher ratings of early literacy skills in a multivariate path analysis. These findings highlight the need for interventions focused on pre-reading skills for children in foster care.
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