Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Scott Decker - Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Joel Meyers - Co-Chair

Third Advisor

Catherine Cadenhead

Fourth Advisor

T. Chris Oshima


DOES A CONTINUOUS MEASURE OF HANDEDNESS PREDICT READING RELATED PROCESSES AND READING SKILLS ACROSS THE LIFESPAN? by Michele Harrison Brenneman The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between handedness, reading skills, and reading related cognitive processes. The research results with regard to handedness, specific reading skills, and reading related cognitive processes are ambiguous at best. The method in which handedness is measured contributes to these diverse research findings, therefore the present investigation addressed these methodological limitations. A large normative sample of up to 1383 participants that ranged in age from 4 to 80 completed the Woodcock Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised (Woodcock & Johnson, 1989a; Woodcock & Johnson, 1989b) or the Woodcock Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Third Edition (Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001) in combination with the Dean Woodcock Sensory Motor Battery (Dean & Woodcock, 2003) lateral preference scale, a continuous measure of handedness. Polynomial multiple regression analyses indicated curvilinear relationships between handedness and reading comprehension and basic reading skills, along with handedness and auditory working memory. Individuals towards the extremes of the handedness continuum performed lower on the reading related tasks. Therefore, just knowing a general classification of right, left or mixed handed will not provide significant knowledge regarding lateralization or potential cognitive and academic costs and benefits. One overarching implication of these findings is that laterality is an important predictor variable of reading skills and related reading processes, hence knowledge of an individual’s hand preference on a continuum may well be useful for evaluative purposes.