Phonological awareness and types of sound errors in Preschoolers with speech sound disorders

Jonathan Preston, Mary Louise Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Purpose: Some children with speech sound disorders (SSD) have difficulty with literacy-related skills, particularly phonological awareness (PA). This study investigates the PAskills of preschoolers with SSD by using a regression model to evaluate the degree to which PA can be concurrently predicted by types of speech sound errors. Method: Preschoolers with SSD (n = 43) participated in PA and speech sound production assessment. Errors from a 125-item picture naming task were coded in 2 ways: (a) considering all consonant errors equally (percentage of consonants correct [PCC]) and (b) using a 3-category system that captures component features of sound errors (typical sound changes, atypical sound changes, and distortions). PA tasks included rhyme matching, onset matching, onset segmentation and matching, and blending. Results: Variance in a PA composite score could be predicted partly by vocabulary and age (33%). Atypical sound changes accounted for an additional 6% of variance in PA, but distortions and typical errors did not account for significant variance. When the same consonant errors were analyzed using PCC, speech errors did not predict significant variance in PA. Conclusions: Poorer PA is associated with lower receptive vocabularies and more atypical sound errors. Results are interpreted in the context of the accuracy of phonological representations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-60
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Atypical errors
  • Phonological awareness
  • Preschool
  • Speech sound errors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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