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IRTs of the ABCs

Title: IRTs of the ABCs: children's letter name acquisition.
Name(s): Phillips, Beth M, author
Piasta, Shayne B, author
Anthony, Jason L, author
Lonigan, Christopher J, author
Francis, David J, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Date Issued: 2012-08-01
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: We examined the developmental sequence of letter name knowledge acquisition by children from 2 to five years of age. Data from 2 samples representing diverse regions, ethnicity, and socioeconomic backgrounds (ns = 1074 and 500) were analyzed using item response theory (IRT) and differential item functioning techniques. Results from factor analyses indicated that letter name knowledge represented a unidimensional skill; IRT results yielded significant differences between letters in both difficulty and discrimination. Results also indicated an approximate developmental sequence in letter name learning for the simplest and most challenging to learn letters--but with no clear sequence between these extremes. Findings also suggested that children were most likely to first learn their first initial. We discuss implications for assessment and instruction.
Identifier: FSU_pmch_22710016 (IID), 10.1016/j.jsp.2012.05.002 (DOI), PMC4322910 (PMCID), 22710016 (RID), 22710016 (EID), S0022-4405(12)00044-1 (PII)
Grant Number: HD052120, HD30988, HD36067, HD36509, HD38880, P50 HD052120
Publication Note: This NIH-funded author manuscript originally appeared in PubMed Central at
Subject(s): Child, Preschool
Language Development
Verbal Learning
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Journal of school psychology.
Issue: iss. 4, vol. 50

Choose the citation style.
Phillips, B. M., Piasta, S. B., Anthony, J. L., Lonigan, C. J., & Francis, D. J. (2012). IRTs of the ABCs: children's letter name acquisition. Journal Of School Psychology. Retrieved from