Preventive screening for early readers: Predictive validity of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (Dibels)

Catherine T. Goffreda, James Clyde Diperna, Jason A. Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Current empirical evidence indicates poor learning trajectories for students with early literacy skill deficits. As such, reliable and valid detection of at-risk students through regular screening and progress monitoring is imperative. This study investigated the predictive validity of scores on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). Logistic regression analyses were used to test the utility of the DIBELS first grade indicators for predicting reading proficiency on TerraNova California Achievement Test (CAT) Assessment and Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) in second and third grade, respectively. Results suggest that students' first grade Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) DIBELS risk category scores were the only significant predictor of future TerraNova and PSSA reading proficiency. Although the current data present encouraging results for the predictive validity of ORF as a screening tool for early readers, further investigations of the utility of the remaining indicators (Letter Naming Fluency, Nonsense Word Fluency, and Phonemic Segmentation Fluency) are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-552
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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