Brief experimental analysis of early reading interventions

Anna Lind Petursdottir, Kristen L McMaster, Jennifer McComas, Tracy Bradfield, Viveca Braganza, Julie Koch-McDonald, Roxana Rodriguez, Haley Scharf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to investigate how brief experimental analyses (BEAs) could be used to identify effective interventions for Kindergartners (2 girls and 2 boys, 5 years and 7-10 months old) with low performance and/or growth slope in letter sound fluency (LSF). Interventions were tested within a multielement design with brief mini-reversals until an intervention yielding at least 20% improvement on a specific subskill measure or a curriculum-based measure of LSF was identified. BEA-identified interventions were implemented one-on-one for 5 to 9 weeks. A multiple-baseline design across participants showed large intervention effects (average adjusted d = 2.4) on general outcome measures, supporting treatment validity of BEAs. Findings extend the BEA literature to younger participants, early reading interventions, and early reading measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-243
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of school psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was conducted by the first author in partial fulfillment of the doctoral degree in educational psychology at the University of Minnesota. We thank the participants of the study as well as their parents and teachers. This research was supported in part by Grant #R305G040104 from the Institute for Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education to Vanderbilt University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Texas — Pan American. The paper does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the funding agency, and no official endorsement should be inferred.


  • Assessment
  • Early intervention
  • Experimental analysis
  • Letter sounds
  • Reading
  • Response to intervention


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