A Longitudinal Examination of Late-emerging Reading Difficulties in Hong Kong Chinese Children

Project: Research project

Project Details


Reading difficulties (RD) may have significant impact on children’s academic achievement in school and can lead to potential behavioral and social problems. Although considerable research has been focused on the early identification of children at risk for RD, little work has examined children who do not develop RD until the late primary or elementary school grades. This late-emerging RD or LRD shows signs of reading failure in the fourth or fifth grades and is estimated to affect between 20% and 46% for English-speaking children. However, even though the Chinese have the largest population in the world, no research to date has examined the nature of Chinese-speaking children developing LRD in the senior primary grades. Chinese is an interesting case for study in the examination of this issue because Chinese language is quite different from alphabetic languages in terms of visual, orthographic, phonological and morphological features. Thus, the manifestations of reading difficulties may have different causes, risk factors, and signs related to LRD in Chinese children. The aims of this proposed project are three-fold: (a) to examine the heterogeneity of LRD, (b) to investigate the extent to which LRD and early reading difficulty (ERD) readers exhibit characteristics that are similar to or different from their profiles when compared to typically developing readers, (c) to examine the relationship between executive functioning, cognitive-linguistic, oral language skills, and reading outcomes among the LRD and ERD readers. Three hundred Hong Kong Chinese-speaking children will be administered a wide range of oral language, executive functioning, and cognitive-linguistic skills over four years from second to fifth grades. Latent transition, path and profile analysis will be used to (a) examine the presence of heterogeneous developmental patterns, (b) investigate the interrelationships of oral language, executive functioning, cognitive-linguistic skills, and reading outcomes among the subgroups, (c) investigate individual differences in developmental profiles across tasks. The outcome of this project will have significant theoretical and educational implications in that it will enhance our understanding of the heterogeneity issue of RD, the characteristics of LRD and subtyping in Chinese-speaking population and thus help us to develop the early identification tools and design appropriate intervention programs.

Funding Source: RGC - General Research Fund (GRF)
Effective start/end date01/01/1330/06/15


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