Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Margaret Gillespie

Second Advisor

Adrian Dupuis

Third Advisor

John Ivanoff

Fourth Advisor

Charles Nader

Fifth Advisor

Glenn Tagatz


The first part of the study was directed to the identification of the psycholinguistic characteristics of a sample of children with reading disability. The purpose was to determine if psycholinguistic disabilities at the nonsymbolic (automatic) level are more characteristic of children with reading disabilities than those at the symbolic (representational) level. The second part of this investigation was an attempt to determine the effectiveness of two programs of remediation on the reading achievement and psycholinguistic development of the sample of children with reading disabilities. The two programs of remediation consisted of (1) a treatment based on psycholinguistic deficits and (2) a treatment based on reading skill deficits. This study in conjunction with that of Kass suggests that the psycholinguistic factors which relate to those of reading are those at the non-meaningful, automatic-sequential level. Ragland found, as did Kass, that retarded readers do as well as expected or even better, in visual decoding which is defined as understanding the visual symbol. Barbara Bateman (1969) summarizes her opinion on this matter by saying "that the logical analyses of the reading process, clinical experience and research data all point unmistakably toward the currently unpopular notion that reading can and should be taught as the formation of a series of rote, nonmeaningful, conditioned bonds between visual stimuli (letters) and vocal responses (sounds). This nonmeaningful process is, of course, carried on for the eventual purpose of obtaining meaning from the symbols, but this fact ought not remain an obstacle to teaching the process of reading. (p.293)



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