Skip Navigation
Funding Opportunities | Search Funded Research Grants and Contracts

IES Grant

Title: Small Group Reading Intervention to Support Children with Pervasive Learning and Attention Needs (RISC-PLAN) in the Upper Elementary Grades
Center: NCSER Year: 2019
Principal Investigator: Roberts, Garrett Awardee: University of Denver
Program: Early Career Development and Mentoring      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years (07/01/2019–06/30/2023) Award Amount: $499,311
Type: Training Award Number: R324B190010

Mentors: Strain, Phillip; Roberts, Greg; Wexler, Jade

Purpose: The Principal Investigator (PI) will conduct a program of research for improving the reading outcomes of students with or at risk for co-occurring reading disabilities and attention problems. In addition, the PI will participate in mentoring and training activities to develop knowledge and skills related to this particular group of students, the use of single-case design to inform intervention development, and the analysis of group design data. A growing body of research indicates that a substantial portion of students with or at risk for reading disabilities also exhibit attention problems. Furthermore, students who demonstrate both reading and attention problems are at higher risk for reading failure than students with either reading difficulties or inattention alone. Despite the prevalence and negative consequences of co-occurring reading and attention problems, there is limited research on how to effectively remediate poor reading outcomes for these students. The PI intends to address this limitation by iteratively developing and testing the usability, feasibility, and promise of a small group Reading Intervention to Support Children with Pervasive Learning and Attention Needs (RISC-PLAN) for students with or at risk for co-occurring reading disabilities and attention problems in grades 4 and 5.

Research Plan: The purpose of the research plan is to iteratively develop, refine, and evaluate RISC-PLAN across three phases. During Phase 1 (Years 1 and 2), the PI will iteratively develop RISC-PLAN by adding research-based behavioral supports (such as opportunities to respond, praise, and daily report cards) to an existing reading intervention, Voyager Passport, and examining its feasibility and usability in a series of single-case design studies. RISC-PLAN will be implemented by tutors with small groups of students and data will be collected on fidelity, student engagement, and social validity. The PI will analyze data from the single-case design studies using visual analysis. Based on the results, the intervention, measurement, and fidelity protocols will be refined and finalized for Phase 2. In Phase 2 (Year 3), the PI will conduct a small-scale randomized controlled trial to test the promise of the revised intervention for improving students' reading and behavior outcomes. All students in grades 4 and 5 will be screened for reading and behavior problems. Those who are eligible will be recruited and randomized to receive either RISC-PLAN or business-as-usual instruction. Fidelity will be monitored and there will be ongoing reading progress monitoring. In addition, pre- and post-test outcome measures of students' reading (word reading and comprehension) and behavior (symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) will be collected. In Phase 3, the PI will conduct analyses to determine the main effect of the intervention on student outcomes and examine potential mediators, such as student engagement, and moderators, such as fidelity of implementation. In addition, the PI will conduct analyses to determine the costs and cost-effectiveness of the intervention.

Career Plan: Through a career development plan, the PI intends to (1) extend his program of research to students with co-occurring reading disabilities and attention problems, (2) gain knowledge and skills in the use of single-case design as part of iterative intervention development, and (3) develop skills in analyzing results from group design studies. To accomplish these goals, the PI will conduct monthly meetings with mentors; engage in directed readings; attend conferences; and participate in workshops on causal inference, linear regression, and mediators and moderators.