Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Public Health

First Advisor

Lisa Fitton


This paper contributes to the current literature by investigating factors that may contribute to language and literacy difficulty among children, to support the future development of effective intervention techniques. The data analyzed in this paper was collected from children and families participating in Reach Every Reader, a research study currently being conducted to improve literacy outcomes in the U.S. by developing a computer-adaptive screening assessment tool to identify children at risk for language and literacy difficulties early in their educational development. Children enrolled in kindergarten through third grade completed tasks that target language and literacy skills, and their parent(s) completed the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) questionnaire. Prior research indicates that a greater number of ACEs corresponds with a heightened risk of poor academic outcomes (Burke et al., 2011), and that this risk may continue intergenerationally (Jensen, S.K. et al., 2021). When examining relationships between parent ACE scores and the language and literacy task performance of their children, a statistically significant, albeit small, correlation was noted between ACE scores and the CELF-5 Recalling Sentences task when not accounting for other variables. Area Deprivation Index (ADI) percentiles were also examined based on participants’ home and school locations to determine the impact of social determinants and were found to have a statistically significant impact on literacy task performance. Current and future research on the relationship between intergenerational trauma and academic performance could be beneficial in determining a child’s need for psychotherapy and educational services.


© 2023, Paige Lee Banaszak