Preferred Name

Cara McQuaid

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Tiffany Hornsby

Deborah Kipps-Vaughan

Ashton Trice

Kristi Estep


Research on reading performance in both public and private schools in the United States notes that students’ reading skills are declining compared to previous years, and there is a need for effective identification of skills and interventions to bridge the gap between current performance and the target skill level. While some research on reading instruction and reading skills primarily focuses on initial skills such as phonological awareness only in early grades, other research suggests that as reading skills develop and become more advanced, foundational skills such as phonological awareness also develop.

The purpose of the current study was to assess whether a higher-level phonological awareness skill, called phonemic proficiency, is still positively correlated with a higher-level reading skill in secondary education. The results found a moderate, positive relationship between total phonemic awareness and oral reading accuracy, and phonemic proficiency, continue to be moderately and positively correlated with oral reading fluency in secondary grades. These results support the information of the science of reading and research related to the phonemic proficiency hypothesis. Implications for future research and school psychology practice are discussed.

Available for download on Wednesday, July 17, 2024