This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Effectiveness of DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency as a Predictor of Reading Comprehension for High- and Low-Income Students




Paleologos, Timon

Type of Degree



Curriculum and Teaching


The purpose of this two-part, non-experimental study was to examine the predictive nature of reading fluency scores in relation to reading comprehension scores and determine if the associations between these scores were similar for high- and low-income children. In part one of this study, the researcher attempted to verify if statistically equivalent positive correlations existed between the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills – Oral Reading Fluency (DORF) and the Stanford Achievement Test – Tenth Edition (SAT-10), and between the DORF and Degrees of Reading Power (DRP), a secondary measure of reading comprehension. In part two of this study, the researcher sought to determine whether students with proficient reading fluency skill but different economic backgrounds had statistically equivalent comprehension achievement. In addition, the study was designed to investigate whether or not proficient fluency skill is as strongly associated with low-income students’ comprehension achievement as it is for their wealthier peers. Participants in part one of this study consisted of 129 third-grade students who took the DORF, SAT-10, and DRP assessments during the 2003-2004 academic school year. Data analyses revealed statistically significant positive correlations between DORF and the SAT-10, between the DORF and DRP, and between the Sat-10 and DRP. Furthermore, correlational-comparison procedures showed these relationships did not differ at a statistically significant level between average- to high-income students and students receiving free or reduced lunch. Participants in part two of this study consisted of 215 third-grade students (112 with proficient fluency skill, 103 without proficient fluency skill) who participated in the DORF and SAT-10 assessments during the 2003-2004 academic school year. Correlational, correlational-comparison, and sequential regression analyses indicated the following for students with proficient reading fluency skill: 1) Reading fluency did not equally predict reading comprehension for higher- and lower-income students; 2) statistically significant differences in reading comprehension, reading fluency, and reading vocabulary achievement existed between high- and low-income students; 3) reading vocabulary equally predicted reading comprehension for students of differing economic backgrounds; and 4) reading fluency did not predict reading comprehension for low-income students proficient in reading fluency skill beyond what was accounted for by reading vocabulary.