Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society



Reading and writing skills in young adults with spina bifida and hydrocephalus


MARCIA  BARNES  a1 a2 c1 , MAUREEN  DENNIS  a1 a3 a4 and ROSS  HETHERINGTON  a1 a4
a1 Brain and Behavior Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
a2 Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
a3 Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
a4 Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Article author query
barnes m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
dennis m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hetherington r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Reading and writing were studied in 31 young adults with spina bifida and hydrocephalus (SBH). Like children with this condition, young adults with SBH had better word decoding than reading comprehension, and, compared to population means, had lower scores on a test of writing fluency. Reading comprehension was predicted by word decoding and listening comprehension. Writing was predicted by fine motor finger function, verbal intelligence, and short-term and working memory. These findings are consistent with cognitive models of reading and writing. Writing, but not reading, was related to highest level of education achieved and writing fluency predicted several aspects of functional independence. Reading comprehension and writing remain deficient in adults with SBH and have consequences for educational attainments and functional independence. (JINS, 2004, 10, 655–663.)

(Received January 22 2003)
(Revised February 12 2004)
(Accepted February 18 2004)


Key Words: Spina bifida; Adulthood; Literacy.

Correspondence:
c1 Reprint requests to: Marcia Barnes, Ph.D., Department of Psychology Research, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1X8, Canada. E-mail: mbarnes@sickkids.ca