Date of Award

Spring 2000

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Leslie, Lauren

Second Advisor

Laughlin, Timothy

Third Advisor

Hoy, Mary


This study offers a presentation of the effects of rime neighborhood size and word frequency on word recognition of reading level matched average, poor and phonologically-impaired readers. Developmental models suggest children with reading delays have delays in a broad range of skills using the same cue systems as average readers but using those skills differently. Deficit models suggest children with reading problems are deficient in their ability to utilize phonological knowledge to support reading. Phonologically-impaired readers were significantly less able to correctly rhyme, segment and delete phonemes. Further, phonologically-impaired readers read fewer rimes correctly in all conditions, all neighborhood sizes and at all frequency levels, compared to average readers. These findings support the deficit model of reading. However, it is also true that the recognition of rime with in each group, average, poor and phonologically-impaired demonstrated developmental patterns where rimes from large neighborhood sizes were more correctly identified than rimes from medium or small neighborhoods. This supports the developmental models. Thus, this study demonstrates support for both models. The implications of such findings are such that no one method of reading instruction will benefit readers. And certainly, instruction for delayed readers must take into consideration the underlying weaknesses and developmental stage of reading acquisition of the reader.



Restricted Access Item

Having trouble?