Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Speech and Hearing Science

Major Professor

Harold A. Peterson, Lori Swanson

Committee Members

Pearl A. Gordon, Mary Sue Younger


The purpose of this investigation was to examine the criterion-related validity of the Test of Implicit Phonology (a modification of Lance, 1994) with valid measures of phonological awareness and reading ability. This test used a forced choice paradigm employing nonsense word pairs (e.g., /∫kib/—/∫rib/) of which one member violated the rules of phoneme combination in English and the other was permissible for phoneme combination in English. Subjects selected for this study were 81 normally developing first-graders and second-graders who were tested using six different experimental measures and the Test of Implicit Phonology (TIP). The six tasks chosen to assess the criterion-related validity included: the Yopp-Singer phoneme segmentation task (Yopp, 1988); a phoneme deletion task (Bruce, 1964); a phoneme blending task (Catts, 1993); the word identification subtest and word attack subtest of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised (Woodcock, 1987) ; and the Phonological Screening-Multisyllabic subtest of the Assessment of Phonological Processes- Revised (Hodson, 1986). The results indicated that there was a positive significant correlation between the TIP and two of the phonological awareness tasks, both tasks of decoding and the multisyllabic word production task. Additionally, the first-grade children performed significantly lower than the second-grade children on the TIP, thus indicating that the TIP was also sensitive to developmental phonological awareness differences between the first- and second-grade children. It was concluded that the TIP has criterion-related validity as a phonological awareness assessment tool. With further inquiry this paradigm could prove to be a method of appraisal that is not confounded by reading and spelling instruction thus resulting in a more accurate assessment of implicit phonological awareness.

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