Date of Award

1990

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in School Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Susan Brady

Abstract

Lexical acquisition ability was studied in fourth grade children through use of a paired associate design. Reading achievement predicted ability to learn words more highly than did other factors, including estimated I.Q., and short-term memory did not. Examination of two subgroups of skilled and less skilled readers indicated that less skilled readers had more difficulty in acquiring new words. Less skilled readers made more errors and required more trials than did skilled readers. Less skilled readers also achieved lower scores on measures of short and long term recognition of the word's referents. No differences in rate of forgetting over time were found between groups. No between group differences were found in the ability to provide definitions for the newly learned words. No significant differences between groups were found on a measure of incidental word learning.

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