Date of Award

12-1980

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Arthur Smith

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the ability of first grade children to generate verbal associations to both neutral and emotional stimuli and to determine if this ability is significantly related to reading achievement.

Word associations are one element of oral expressive language which has been studied in its relationship to reading. Studies to date have only begun to examine the many different aspects of word associations and the relationship that they have to such things as beginning reading, reading comprehension, sight vocabulary acquisition and reading rate.

Four scores from the Metropolitan Achievement Test were correlated with scores from a researcher designed continuous free association task.

It was found that there is no significant difference between the quantity of responses to emotional stimuli and the quantity of responses to neutral stimuli.

There was no significant relationship between the quantity of responses to emotional stimuli and reading. There was a significant negative correlation between the quantity of responses to neutral stimuli and word knowledge.

The quantity of responses to emotional stimuli and quantity of responses to neutral stimuli were significantly related.

There was a significant negative correlation between the total number of responses to both neutral and emotional stimuli and word knowledge.

It was concluded that the type of stimuli did not affect the number of responses. Word knowledge was the only reading skill which was significantly related to the word association task probably because both tasks involve vocabulary. Relationships were negative possibly because the two tasks deal with two different types of vocabulary and two different types of cognitive style.

Further research is needed in the relationship of different aspects of word associations and language.

The word association task could easily be used by the teacher as an informal screening device of oral expressive language.

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