The double-deficit hypothesis: A comprehensive analysis of the evidence

Rose K. Vukovic, Linda S. Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations

Abstract

The double-deficit hypothesis of developmental dyslexia proposes that deficits in phonological processing and naming speed represent independent sources of dysfunction in dyslexia. The present article is a review of the evidence for the double-deficit hypothesis, including a discussion of recent findings related to the hypothesis. Studies in this area have been characterized by variability in methodology - how dyslexia is defined and identified, and how dyslexia subtypes are classified. Such variability sets limitations on the extent to which conclusions may be drawn with respect to the double-deficit hypothesis. Furthermore, the literature is complicated by the persistent finding that measures of phonological processing and naming speed are significantly correlated, resulting in a statistical artifact that makes it difficult to disentangle the influence of naming speed from that of phonological processing. Longitudinal and intervention studies of the double-deficit hypothesis are needed to accumulate evidence that investigates a naming speed deficit that is independent of a phonological deficit for readers with dyslexia. The existing evidence does not support a persistent core deficit in naming speed for readers with dyslexia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-47
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Learning Disabilities
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

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