Tracking vocabulary and reading growth in children from lower and higher socioeconomic backgrounds during the transition from primary to secondary education


We examined the relation between socioeconomic status (SES), vocabulary, and reading in middle childhood, during the transition from primary (elementary) to secondary (high) school. Children (N = 279, 163 girls) completed assessments of everyday and curriculum‐related vocabulary, (non)word reading, and reading comprehension at five timepoints from age 10 to 13. Piecewise linear mixed‐effects models showed significant growth in everyday vocabulary and word reading between every time point. Curriculum vocabulary and reading comprehension showed significant growth during the school year, but not during the summer holidays. There were significant effects of SES on all measures except word reading; yet, SES differences did not widen over time. Our findings motivate targeted reading and vocabulary support for secondary school students from lower SES backgrounds.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > Clinical and Systems Neuroscience
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Vision, Hearing and Language
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors. Child Development published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Research in Child Development. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (CC-BY-NC) Funding Information: This study is supported by The Nuffield Foundation (EDO/43287); investigators Shapiro (PI), Ricketts, and Burgess. The data necessary to reproduce the analyses are available on the UK data archive: . Analysis scripts and detailed model summaries for the final models are available here: . The analyses presented here are not preregistered. The materials necessary to attempt to replicate the findings presented here are copyrighted standardized assessments and are not publicly accessible.
Publication ISSN: 0009-3920
Last Modified: 22 May 2024 16:23
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2022 08:09
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://srcd.on ... 1111/cdev.13862 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://reshare ... (Related URL) (Related URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2023-01-01
Published Online Date: 2022-10-10
Accepted Date: 2022-10-01
Authors: van der Kleij, Sanne W. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-2749-3015)
Burgess, Adrian P. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-0977-8105)
Ricketts, Jessie
Shapiro, Laura R. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-3276-457X)


Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record