Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Susan Loveall

Relational Format



Problem Statement: Previous research has documented that individuals with Down syndrome are able to read and have identified strengths and weakness demonstrated within the reading domain, but research on their reading comprehension abilities is scarce. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze strengths and weaknesses of reading comprehension in individuals with Down syndrome, including within the word identification and language comprehension subdomains. Methods: Reading comprehension, word identification, phonological decoding, language comprehension, vocabulary, and syntax were the dependent variables in this study. Nine standardized assessments/subtests were used to measure these variables in 11 adolescents and adults with Down syndrome. Results: The results of this study revealed relative strengths in word identification, phonological decoding, and vocabulary. Weaknesses were found in reading comprehension, language comprehension, and syntax. Significant correlations were found between language comprehension and reading comprehension. Discussion: The results of this study suggest that language comprehension may have a strong impact on reading comprehension success in individuals with Down syndrome.

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