Morphological awareness and DHH students’ reading-related abilities: A meta-analysis of correlations

Zhang, Dongbo, Ke, Sihui, Anglin-Jaffe, Hannah and Yang, Junhui orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5239-1643 (2023) Morphological awareness and DHH students’ reading-related abilities: A meta-analysis of correlations. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education . ISSN 1081-4159

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This article presents the first meta-analysis on correlations of morphological awareness (MA) with reading-related abilities in deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students (k = 14, N = 556). The results showed high mean correlations of MA with all three reading-related abilities: rs = .610, .712, and .669 (all ps < .001), respectively, for word reading, vocabulary knowledge, and reading comprehension. A set of moderator analysis was conducted of language, DHH students’ age/reading stage and degree of hearing loss, and task type. The correlation of MA with word reading was significantly stronger in alphabetic than in non-alphabetic languages, and for fluency than accuracy; for vocabulary knowledge, the correlation was significantly stronger for production MA tasks than for judgment tasks; for reading comprehension, derivational MA tasks showed a stronger correlation than those having a mixed focus on inflection and derivation. While no other moderator effects were significant, the correlations for subsets of effect sizes were largely high for a moderator. These findings reaffirmed the importance of morphology in DHH students’ reading development. The present synthesis, while evidencing major development of research on the metalinguistic underpinnings of reading in DHH students, also showed that the literature on MA is still very limited.

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