College of Psychology Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PhD)

Department

Center for Psychological Studies

First Advisor

Sarah Valley-Gray

Second Advisor

Christian DeLucia

Third Advisor

Gene E. Cash

Keywords

early childhood assessments, early literacy, emergent literacy, preschool, Screening tools

Abstract

Early identification and targeted intervention during the preschool years can help to prevent later reading difficulties among school-age children. The GRTR! was developed by the Applied Research Partners and the National Center for Learning Disabilities. It is a quick, reliable measure developed for paraprofessionals to assess deficits in pre-literacy skills among preschoolers. Most of the research on this measure has been limited to preschoolers primarily from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds and authored by the developers of the GRTR!

The current study examined the Get Ready to Read! (GRTR!) screening tool as an assessment of emergent literacy skills of 206 preschoolers attending either a private preschool (M range = 38.04 - 71.04) or a public preschool (M range = 41.04 - 72) and relating their performance to standardized measures of language skills (vocabulary and print knowledge) and phonological awareness. The effects of SES, age, school, and gender on the performance of GRTR! were assessed. Students attending the private preschool outperformed those from the public preschool and those from the standardization GRTR! sample, although the public preschool group scored within the average range. Age was a significant predictor of GRTR! scores for participants ages three through five years. The GRTR! correlated positively and significantly with more comprehensive measures of language abilities. Results demonstrate that the GRTR! is a valid and reliable tool for screening children's emergent literacy skills in preschool centers. Results underscore the notion that SES does not necessarily dictate a child's competence in a specific area. Further research linking the GRTR! to strategic and cost-effective interventions, which include parental involvement and teacher support is needed. Studies including a wider range of SES, racial/ethnic, and linguistic groups would also improve upon the measure's validity.

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