A follow-up study of delayed readers and an investigation of factors related to their success in young adulthood

Joanne Maria Murphy, University of Pennsylvania


The purpose of the present study was to investigate which factors in the past and current experiences of a well-defined cohort of young adults, who attended a private elementary/middle school designed for delayed readers, related to their level of successful adult adjustment. The subjects of this investigation were 118 young adults, ages 19-26, who had attended Benchmark School. This study was intended to be a largely descriptive one. However, based on previous research, it was hypothesized that IQ and socioeconomic status would be significant predictors to adult outcome. Perceived social support and attributional style were also expected to be related to adult outcome. Data collection occurred in three stages. First, background data were collected from archival records. Then, current data were obtained from self-report questionnaires. In order to assess adult outcome, separate measures of current achievement and general life satisfaction were derived from the self-report questionnaires. In the third stage of data collection, selected subjects were administered measures of perceived social support and attributional style. Four subjects were also selected for case studies. Results indicated that the majority of the subjects in this study were academically successful in high school and in college, and reported feeling very satisfied with their lives. Many used several accommodations to adapt to academic demands of high school and college. Reading performance while at Benchmark School did not predict to their current level of achievement or overall life satisfaction. Although higher verbal IQ while at the school did predict to higher levels of achievement, socioeconomic status did not. An interesting finding was that number of behavioral style issues exhibited while at the school negatively predicted to achievement. Perceived social support and attributional style were not related to achievement outcome, although subjects who felt highly supported by friends and family reported higher levels of satisfaction with their lives. Methodological limitations of this study, implications of the findings, and directions for future research were discussed.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Literacy|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

Murphy, Joanne Maria, "A follow-up study of delayed readers and an investigation of factors related to their success in young adulthood" (1996). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9628030.