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Classroom Observations and Effects of Reading Interventions for Students at Risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Howard Wills, Debra Kamps, Mary Abbott, Harriett Bannister and Jorun Kaufman
Behavioral Disorders
Vol. 35, No. 2, Special Issue: Reading and Writing Interventions for Students With and at Risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (February 2010), pp. 103-119
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43153811
Page Count: 17
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Classroom Observations and Effects of Reading Interventions for Students at Risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
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Abstract

This study investigated the effects of small-group reading interventions, implemented within a schoolwide positive behavior support model, on elementary students with and without risk for emotional and behavior disorders. Participating schools and students were part of a larger randomized controlled group study. A subset of the larger study, four experimental and four comparison schools, participated in this current study. Participants included 117 first-through thirdgrade students who were identified through a systematic screening process as having reading or behavior/reading risk. Direct observation and reading performance measures yielded several important outcomes. Students receiving small-group interventions within the experimental group spent more time in small-group instruction and during that instruction were more actively engaged in reading aloud and academic responding. These differences translated into differential gains between groups on the Dynamic Indicators of Early Literacy Skills-DIBELS nonsense word fluency and oral reading fluency measures. In addition, with intensive small-group reading interventions, students with the combined behavior/reading risk were as responsive to the intervention as students with reading risk alone. No differences were recognized for student conduct or for reading outcomes on the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

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