Authors: Shippen ME, Morton RC, Flynt SW, Houchins DE, Smitherman T
Title: Efficacy of a Computer-Based Program on Acquisition of Reading Skills of Incarcerated Youth
Source: Remedial and Special Education 2012 33(1): 14-22
Year: 2012
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 05/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

Despite the importance of literacy skill training for incarcerated youth, a very limited number of empirically based research studies have examined reading instruction in correctional facilities. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the Fast ForWord computer-assisted reading program improved the reading and spelling abilities of incarcerated youth. A group of 51 incarcerated male youth identified by facility staff as low performers in reading composed the target group for this study. Both standardized and curriculum-based measures were employed to determine reading and spelling skill growth over an average of 24 sessions in an 11-week intervention. Results indicated no clear literacy skill improvement for the treatment group. Implications for future research are discussed.

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