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Decoding abilities in adolescents with intellectual disabilities: the contribution of cognition, language, and home literacy

Nilsson, K., Danielsson, H., Elwér, Å. , Messer, D., Henry, L. ORCID: 0000-0001-5422-4358 & Samuelsson, S. (2021). Decoding abilities in adolescents with intellectual disabilities: the contribution of cognition, language, and home literacy. Journal of Cognition, 4(1), article number 58. doi: 10.5334/joc.191


Decoding abilities in individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) are substantially lower than for typical readers. The underlying mechanisms of their poor reading remain uncertain. The aim of this study was to investigate the concurrent predictors of decoding ability in 136 adolescents with non-specific ID, and to evaluate the results in relation to previous findings on typical readers. The study included a broad range of cognitive and language measures as predictors of decoding ability. A LASSO regression analysis identified phonological awareness and rapid automatized naming (RAN) as the most important predictors. The predictors explained 57.73 % of the variance in decoding abilities. These variables are similar to the ones found in earlier research on typically developing children, hence supporting our hypothesis of a delayed rather than a different reading profile. These results lend some support to the use of interventions and reading instructions, originally developed for typically developing children, for children and adolescents with non-specific ID.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Publisher Keywords: decoding, intellectual disabilities, RAN, phonological awareness
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
SWORD Depositor:
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