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The Impact of Executive Function Skills on Writing: A Comparison of Fifth-Grade Students with Learning Disabilities and Students with Typical Development
AuthorNathan, Anne M.
AdvisorAbernathy, Tammy V.
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This study explored the relationship between verbal fluency skills and writing skills in developing writers. There were three research questions addressed: 1) Was there a difference between fifth-grade students who have a learning disability (LD) in written language and fifth-grade students with typical development (TD) on the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS; Delis, Kaplan, & Kramer, 2001) Verbal Fluency Tests (letter fluency, category fluency, category switching number correct, category switching accuracy)? 2) Was there a relationship between scores on the D-KEFS Verbal Fluency Tests and the composite writing score on the State Proficiency Examination Program (SPEP) Fifth-Grade Writing Assessment 3) Do reading level and verbal fluency executive function skills predict the composite writing score on the SPEP Fifth-Grade Writing Assessment? Results showed that students with TD scored higher on the D-KEFS Verbal Fluency Tests than students with LD. For students with LD, letter fluency and category switching accuracy tests were significantly correlated with the composite writing score on the SPEP Fifth-Grade Writing Assessment. For students with TD, there were no statistically significant correlations between the D-KEFS tests and the composite writing score on the SPEP Fifth-Grade Writing Assessment. For students with LD, reading and the verbal fluency executive function skills predicted the composite writing score on the SPEP Fifth-Grade Writing Assessment.