Academic fluency, or the ability to perform reading and mathematical tasks quickly and accurately, is critical for academic success. Academic fluency is partially dissociable from untimed core reading and math performance, in part because it may depend on other cognitive skills such as processing speed. The present study investigated the extent to which processing speed is associated with reading and math fluency above and beyond the influence of untimed reading accuracy and math calculation, respectively, in a sample of 211 youth referred for neuropsychological assessment (Mage = 12.33 years, 88 girls). On average, individuals with normatively impaired processing speed (i.e., 1.5 standard deviations below the normative sample mean) performed 1.44 scaled score points lower on a reading fluency task and 1.51 scaled score points lower on a math fluency task. Controlling for reading accuracy, processing speed was significantly associated with reading fluency (β=0.11, p=.006, ΔR2=.014). Controlling for untimed math calculation skills, processing speed was significantly associated with math fluency (β=0.31, p<.001, ΔR2=.089). These results highlight that difficulties with academic fluency are impacted by cognitive domains apart from core academic skills, and suggest that accommodations or interventions for children with poor academic fluency may need to specifically target processing speed deficits.
|First Author||Allison Shields|
|Second Author||Erin Kaseda|
|Third Author||Katherine Paltell|
|Fourth Author||Alexandra Kirsch|