Date of Award

1-6-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Psychology and Special Education

First Advisor

David E. Houchins, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Laura Fredrick, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Nicole Patton-Terry, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Eliseo Jimenez, Ph.D.

Abstract

Adolescents with behavioral difficulties and emotional and behavior disorders (EBD) or other health impairment (OHI) have demonstrated deficits in reading, and these deficits appear to remain stable or worsen over time. Reading fluency is an essential skill for overall reading achievement, yet relatively few studies have addressed reading fluency intervention for adolescents, particularly adolescents with behavioral difficulties. This study used a multiple baseline across participants design to evaluate the effect of a repeated reading intervention on the reading fluency and comprehension skills of middle school students with reading difficulties and behavioral difficulties and EBD or OHI. The intervention involved repeated reading combined with an audio-recorded model and cues to read for comprehension. Working independently at a classroom computer, participants received six to nine minutes of daily supplemental fluency instruction over a four-week period. Instruction involved listening to an audio recording of a model reading a passage, receiving cues to read for understanding, reading the passage aloud while using the computer to record the reading, listening to the recording, and reading the passage aloud again while recording. Results indicated no functional relation between the intervention and the number of words correct per minute or the percentage of comprehension questions answered correctly. However, on-task behavior did improve during study session when compared with on-task behavior during regular classroom instruction. The findings of the study have implications for addressing the needs of adolescents with behavioral difficulties who have reading difficulties.

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