Effects of Individualized and Standardized Interventions on Middle School Students With Reading Disabilities

This study reports the effectiveness of a year-long, small-group, tertiary (Tier 3) intervention that examined 2 empirically derived but conceptually different treatments and a comparison condition. The researchers had randomly assigned all students to treatment or comparison conditions. The participants were seventh- and eighth-grade students from the previous year who received an intervention and did not meet exit criteria. The researchers assigned them to one of two treatments: standardized (n = 69) or individualized (n = 71) for 50 min a day, in group sizes of 5, for the entire school year. Comparison students received no researcher-provided intervention (n = 42). The researchers used multigroup modeling with nested comparisons to evaluate the statistical significance of Time 3 estimates. Students in both treatments outperformed the comparison students on assessments of decoding fluency, and comprehension. Intervention type did not moderate the pattern of effects, although students in the standardized treatment had a small advantage over individualized students on word attack. This study provides a framework from which to refine further interventions for older students with reading disabilities.

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