Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Child Development


The young child's ability to learn to read (defined in this study "to recognize") words was studied in an attempt to determine the influence of age.

Fourteen, three-year-old children and 16, four and one-half year old children, 14 girls and 16 boys, were instructed to read eight words. Groups of three were taught in four, ten minute sessions and were then tested one at a time for word recognition. A retention test was given two weeks later.

The hypotheses, that three-year-old children will learn to read more readily than children nearer five years old and that girls will read better than boys, were not confirmed. The four-year-old girls gained the highest scores and the four-year-olds learned an average of one more word than the three-year-olds but the differences were not significant.

It may be concluded that age and sex differences in ability to learn to read words appear to develop at a later age than three or four years. It appears, however, that learning to read words is not beyond the capabilities of three and four-year-old children.



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