Maureen Lovett

Maureen Lovett
SickKids and University of Toronto · Paediatrics and Medical Sciences

Ph.D., C.Psych.

About

119
Publications
85,820
Reads
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4,526
Citations
Citations since 2017
25 Research Items
1385 Citations
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Introduction
I am a Senior Scientist Emeritus in the Neurosciences & Mental Health Program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and Professor Emerita of Paediatrics and Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto. I was Founder and Director of the SickKids Learning Disabilities Research Program, a clinical research unit dedicated to developing and evaluating different approaches to intervention for children and adolescents with developmental reading disabilities.
Additional affiliations
July 2001 - present
University of Toronto
Position
  • Professor
July 1979 - present
SickKids
Position
  • Senior Researcher
Description
  • I am Founder and Director of the Learning Disabilities Research Program at SickKids and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto

Publications

Publications (119)
Article
Worldwide, the majority of people prefer using the right hand for most motor tasks. Because of the link between handedness and language hemispheric dominance, handedness has been studied for association with language-related disorders. No clear pattern has emerged from these studies, and inconsistencies have been attributed to small sample sizes, p...
Article
Many children and adolescents with reading comprehension difficulties demonstrate impairment in lexical and sublexical foundational skills, and require intervention for multiple levels of the reading system. This paper provides a merged analysis of results from four controlled intervention studies conducted by our research group: Children and adole...
Article
Full-text available
Reading Disability (RD) is often characterized by difficulties in the phonology of the language. While the molecular mechanisms underlying it are largely undetermined, loci are being revealed by genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In a previous GWAS for word reading (Price, 2020), we observed that top single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were...
Article
Full-text available
Reading and writing are crucial life skills but roughly one in ten children are affected by dyslexia, which can persist into adulthood. Family studies of dyslexia suggest heritability up to 70%, yet few convincing genetic markers have been found. Here we performed a genome-wide association study of 51,800 adults self-reporting a dyslexia diagnosis...
Preprint
This effectiveness study reports results of a long-term research/school-system partnership that is implementing reading intervention for struggling readers in community schools. In Study 1, we compare reading outcomes before and after children participated in community-led intervention (EmpowerTM Reading: Decoding and Spelling; n=341) to results fr...
Preprint
Worldwide, the majority of people prefer using the right hand for most motor tasks. Because of the link between handedness and language hemispheric dominance, handedness has been studied for association with language-related disorders. No clear pattern has emerged from these studies, and inconsistencies have been attributed to small sample sizes, p...
Preprint
Full-text available
The use of spoken and written language is a capacity that is unique to humans. Individual differences in reading- and language-related skills are influenced by genetic variation, with twin-based heritability estimates of 30-80%, depending on the trait. The relevant genetic architecture is complex, heterogeneous, and multifactorial, and yet to be in...
Article
There is now considerable evidence regarding the types of interventions that are effective at remediating reading disabilities on average. It is generally unclear, however, what predicts the magnitude of individual-level change following a given intervention. We examine new predictors of intervention gains that are theoretically grounded in computa...
Article
Individual differences in reading ability have been linked to characteristics of functional connectivity in the brain in both children and adults. However, many previous studies have used single or composite measures of reading, leading to difficulty characterizing the role of functional connectivity in discrete subskills of reading. The present st...
Article
Full-text available
Daphne Greenberg, Inga Einarson, Christine Miller, Devi Rodgerson, Lea Lacerenza, and Maureen W. Lovett
Article
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Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a common reading disability, affecting 5% to 11% of children in North America. Children classified as having DD often have a history of early language delay (ELD) or language impairments. Nevertheless, studies have reported conflicting results as to the association between DD-ELD and the extent of current language dif...
Article
Reading disabilities (RD) are the most common neurocognitive disorder, affecting 5% to 17% of children in North America. These children often have comorbid neurodevelopmental/psychiatric disorders, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The genetics of RD and their overlap with other disorders is incompletely understood. To contri...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies of co-occurring reading disorder (RD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and co-occurring RD and language impairment (LI), support a core disability plus co-occurrence model focused on language and attention. Genetic factors have been associated with poor reading performance. However, little is known about whether d...
Article
Full-text available
Background Rapid automatised naming (RAN) and rapid alternating stimulus (RAS) are reliable predictors of reading disability. The underlying biology of reading disability is poorly understood. However, the high correlation among RAN, RAS and reading could be attributable to shared genetic factors that contribute to common biological mechanisms. Ob...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent studies of co-occurring reading disability (RD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and co-occurring RD and language learning disability (LLD), support a core disability plus co-occurrence model focused on language and attention. Genetic factors have been associated with poor reading performance. However, little is known abo...
Preprint
Background: Reading disabilities (RD) are the most common learning disabilities, affecting 3-7% of school-aged children in North America. RD is associated with increased risk for comorbid language-based disorders including early language delay (ELD), speech sound disorders, and language impairments. Despite decades of research on the relationship b...
Article
Full-text available
Neuroscience: Biology helps explain reading comprehension difficulties Biological data can help us better understand why as many as 15% of children struggle to comprehend what they read even when they are skilled at decoding individual words. An international team of researchers led by Dr. Jeffrey Gruen at Yale University School of Medicine collect...
Article
The causes that individuals attribute to reading outcomes shape future behaviors, including engagement or persistence with learning tasks. Although previous reading motivation research has examined differences between typical and struggling readers, there may be unique dynamics related to varying levels of reading and attention skills. Using latent...
Article
The causal attributions that children make for success and failure have been associated with later reading motivation and ability perceptions, which have the potential to impact future task engagement. Few studies have investigated whether such attributions are domain specific, that is linked with the specific skill in question, or a general motiva...
Article
Full-text available
Literacy is the ability to read, write and understand print. Proficiency in literacy is fundamental to social inclusion and strongly linked to health outcomes. Thus, improving literacy is important for lifelong health promotion. Poverty, inadequate hearing, speech and vision and learning disabilities may challenge literacy development. In our revie...
Preprint
Full-text available
Reading disability is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by difficulties in reading despite educational opportunity and normal intelligence. Performance on rapid automatized naming (RAN) and rapid alternating stimulus (RAS) tests gives a reliable predictor of reading outcome. These tasks involve the integration of different...
Article
This issue of New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development summarizes recent and ongoing work to establish evidence-based practices in early reading instruction and intervention and to improve access to and quality of literacy programs in low- and middle-income countries. The authors describe projects of varying sizes and goals, conducted in...
Article
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The present study investigated the relationship between reading skills and attributions, naming speed, and phonological awareness, across a wide range reading skill. Participants were 1105 school-aged children and youth from two understudied populations: African-American and Hispanic-American. Individual assessments of children ranging from 8 to 15...
Article
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To evaluate the relative efficacy of two reading programs with and without adjunctive stimulant medication for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and comorbid reading disorder (ADHD+RD). Sixty-five children (7–11 years in age) were assigned randomly to one of three intensive remedial academic programs (phonologically or strategy...
Article
Full-text available
Across multiple schools in three sites, the impact of grade-at-intervention was evaluated for children at risk or meeting criteria for reading disabilities. A multiple-component reading intervention with demonstrated efficacy was offered to small groups of children in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade. In a quasi-experimental design, 172 children received the...
Article
In English, gains in decoding skill do not map directly onto increases in word reading. However, beyond the Self-Teaching Hypothesis, little is known about the transfer of decoding skills to word reading. In this study, we offer a new approach to testing specific decoding elements on transfer to word reading. To illustrate, we modeled word-reading...
Article
Competent reading requires various skills beyond those for basic word reading (i.e., core language skills, rapid naming, phonological processing). Contributing "higher-level" or domain-general processes include information processing speed and executive functions (working memory, strategic problem solving, attentional switching). Research in this a...
Conference Paper
Reading difficulties can extend beyond childhood into adulthood (Kutner et al., 2007). Despite this, adult struggling readers are understudied and most evidence-based remedial approaches focus on youth (Greenberg et al., 2011). With a developmental learning history of success and failure with reading that may extend into decades, the motivational d...
Poster
Current evidence is mixed on the direction of the relationship between motivation and reading achievement. Some research has suggested that motivation is dependent on developmental experiences with reading (e.g., Wang & Guthrie, 2004), but other research has also identified broader influences on motivation itself, including persistent individual di...
Article
Linkage studies have identified a locus on chromosome 3 as reading disabilities (RD) and speech and sound disorder (SSD) susceptibility region, with both RD and SSD sharing similar phonological processing and phonological memory difficulties. One gene in this region, roundabout homolog 1 (ROBO1), has been indicated as a RD candidate and has shown s...
Article
Full-text available
T his article tells the story of how a set of reading interventions , developed for use in a series of large-scale research studies, led our Toronto team of psychologists and special education teachers to a new understanding about reading disabilities and how they may be remediated. Over several studies, the instructional approaches we developed we...
Article
Full-text available
The results from controlled intervention research have indicated that effective reading interventions exist for children with reading difficulties. Effect sizes for older struggling readers, however, typically have not matched the large effects demonstrated with younger children. Standardized effect sizes for intervention/ control comparisons obscu...
Article
Reading disabilities (RD) have a significant genetic basis and have shown linkage to multiple regions including chromosome 15q. Dyslexia susceptibility 1 candidate gene 1 (DYX1C1) on chromosome 15q21 was originally proposed as a candidate gene with two potentially functional polymorphisms at the -3G/A and 1249G/T positions showing association with...
Poster
Current evidence is mixed on the direction of the relationship between motivation and reading achievement. Some research has suggested that motivation is dependent on developmental experiences with reading (e.g., Wang & Guthrie, 2004), but other research has also identified broader influences on motivation itself, including persistent individual di...
Article
Full-text available
Long-standing issues with the conceptualization, identification and subtyping of developmental dyslexia persist. This study takes an alternative approach to examine the heterogeneity of developmental dyslexia using taxometric classification techniques. These methods were used with a large sample of 671 children ages 6-8 who were diagnosed with seve...
Article
Full-text available
Preliminary efficacy data are reported for a research-based reading intervention designed for struggling readers in high school. PHAST PACES teaches (a) word identification strategies, (b) knowledge of text structures, and (c) reading comprehension strategies. In a quasi-experimental design, 268 intervention and 83 waiting list control students mee...
Article
Full-text available
Reading fluency beyond decoding is a limitation to many children with developmental reading disorders. In the interest of remediating dysfluency, contributing factors need to be explored and understood in a developmental framework. The focus of this study is orthographic processing in developmental dyslexia, and how it may contribute to reading flu...
Article
Full-text available
This study reports on several specific neurocognitive process predictors of reading outcomes for a sample of 278 children with reading disabilities. Three categories of response (i.e., poor, average, and good) were formed via growth curve models of six reading outcomes. Two nested discriminant function analyses were conducted to evaluate the predic...
Article
Full-text available
Reading disabilities (RD) have been linked and associated with markers on chromosome 6p with results from multiple independent samples pointing to KIAA0319 as a risk gene and specifically, the 5' region of this gene. Here we focus genetic studies on a 2.3 kb region spanning the predicted promoter, the first untranslated exon, and part of the first...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to examine whether different measures of oral reading fluency relate differentially to reading comprehension performance in two samples of second-grade students: (a) students who evidenced difficulties with nonsense-word oral reading fluency, real-word oral reading fluency, and oral reading fluency of connected text (O...
Article
Full-text available
Results from a controlled evaluation of remedial reading interventions are reported: 279 young disabled readers were randomly assigned to a program according to a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design (IQ, socioeconomic status [SES], and race). The effectiveness of two multiple-component intervention programs for children with reading disabilities (PHAB + RAV...
Article
Full-text available
Reading disabilities (RDs) have been associated with chromosome 6p with recent studies pointing to two genes, DCDC2 and KIAA0319. In this study, markers across the 6p region were tested for association with RD. Our strongest findings were for association with markers in KIAA0319, although with the opposite alleles compared with a previous study. We...
Article
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ABSTRACTABSTRACT—This article explores the ways in which knowledge from the cognitive neurosciences, linguistics, and education interact to deepen our understanding of reading's complexity and to inform reading intervention. We first describe how research on brain abnormalities and naming speed processes has shaped both our conceptualization of rea...
Article
Limited research has examined the skills of children with a reading disability (RD) and children with RD and a mathematics disability (MD). Even less research has examined the phonological awareness (PA) and rapid automatized naming (RAN) skills in these two groups of children and how these skills relate to reading and math achievement. Additionall...
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This article explores whether struggling readers from different primary language backgrounds differ in response to phonologically based remediation. Following random assignment to one of three reading interventions or to a special education reading control program, reading and reading-related outcomes of 166 struggling readers were assessed before,...
Article
In this paper, we ask what constitutes effective professional development for teachers faced with struggling readers in high school. Metacognitive teacher training, instructional coaching, mentorship, and collaborative learning are considered. We describe a professional development model preparing high school teachers to teach PHAST PACES, a remedi...
Article
Full-text available
A locus on chromosome 1p34-36 (DYX8) has been linked to developmental dyslexia or reading disabilities (RD) in three independent samples. In the current study, we investigated a candidate gene KIAA0319-Like (KIAA0319L) within DYX8, as it is homologous to KIAA0319, a strong RD candidate gene on chromosome 6p (DYX2). Association was assessed by using...
Article
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The majority of work on the double-deficit hypothesis (DDH) of dyslexia has been done at the letter and word levels of reading. Key research questions addressed in this study are (a) do readers with different subtypes of dyslexia display differences in fluency at particular reading levels (e.g., letter, word, and connected text)? and (b) do childre...
Article
Full-text available
Twin studies have provided evidence for shared genetic influences between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and specific reading disabilities (RD), with this overlap being highest for the inattentive symptom dimension of ADHD. Previously, we found evidence for association of the dopamine receptor D1 gene (DRD1) with ADHD, and with the...
Article
Full-text available
Some researchers (F. R. Vellutino, F. M. Scanlon, & M. S. Tanzman, 1994) have argued that the different domains comprising language (e.g., phonology, semantics, and grammar) may influence reading development in a differential manner and at different developmental periods. The purpose of this study was to examine proposed causal relationships among...
Article
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According to the Lexical Restructuring Model (Metsala & Walley, 199818. Metsala , J. L. and Walley , A. C. 1998. “Spoken vocabulary growth and the segmental restructuring of lexical representation: Precursors to phonemic awareness and early reading ability”. In Word recognition in beginning literacy, Edited by: Metsala , J. L. and Ehri , L. C....
Article
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The role of spelling recognition was examined in word reading skills and reading comprehension for dyslexic and nondyslexic children. Dyslexic and nondyslexic children were matched on their raw word reading proficiency. Relationships between spelling recognition and the following were examined for both groups of children: verbal ability, working me...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the relative contributions of phonological awareness, orthographic pattern recognition, and rapid letter naming to fluent word and connected-text reading within a dyslexic sample of 123 children in second and third grades. Participants were assessed on a variety of fluency measures and reading subskills. Correlations and hierarc...
Article
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This study examined the magnitude of differences in standard scores, convergent validity, and concurrent validity when an individual's performance was gauged using the revised and the normative update (Woodcock, 1998) editions of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test in which the actual test items remained identical but norms have been updated. From th...
Article
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Recently a gene, termed EKN1, has been identified-because of a chromosomal breakpoint that occurred in this gene. This chromosomal breakpoint Was found in 4 family members that had specific reading disabilities (RDs), indicating that disruption of this gene may be contributing to the risk of developing RDs This gene was further supported as contrib...