Parental literacy predicts children's literacy: A longitudinal family-risk study

Minna Torppa*, Kenneth Eklund, Elsje Van Bergen, Heikki Lyytinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This family-risk (FR) study examined whether the literacy skills of parents with dyslexia are predictive of the literacy skills of their offspring. We report data from 31 child-parent dyads where both had dyslexia (FR-D) and 68 dyads where the child did not have dyslexia (FR-ND). Findings supported the differences in liability of FR children with and without dyslexia: the parents of the FR-D children had more severe difficulties in pseudoword reading and spelling accuracy, in rapid word recognition, and in text reading fluency than the parents of the FR-ND children. Finally, parental skills were found to be significant predictors of children's Grade 3 reading and spelling. Parental skills predicted children's reading and spelling accuracy even after controlling for children's preschool skills. Our findings suggest that the literacy skills of a parent with dyslexia might be valuable in assessing early on their child's liability to dyslexia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-355
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • dyslexia
  • family risk for dyslexia
  • longitudinal study
  • reading
  • spelling


Dive into the research topics of 'Parental literacy predicts children's literacy: A longitudinal family-risk study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this