Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Tanya L. Eckert


Behavioral intervention, Performance feedback, Writing fluency

Subject Categories



Research on evidence-based writing intervention practices as well as reliable and valid assessments of elementary-aged students' writing fluency has been lacking compared to other academic areas (i.e., reading). Performance feedback interventions targeting writing fluency are gaining empirical support (Eckert et al., 2006); however, growth trajectories for elementary-aged students' writing fluency over a short period of time and contributing variables have not been explored. The purpose of this study was to model students' writing fluency growth as it relates to: (a) instructional practices, (b) sex differences, and (c) individual student's initial level of writing fluency. A total of 133 third-grade students in three urban elementary schools were randomly assigned to either an individualized performance feedback condition (n = 46),a practice-only condition (i.e., weekly writing practice) (n = 39), or an instructional control condition (n = 48) for eight weeks. Results indicated that students assigned to the performance feedback condition demonstrated statistically significantly greater growth in their writing fluency than students assigned to the other two conditions. Additionally, students assigned to the instructional control condition demonstrated statistically significantly greater growth in writing fluency than students assigned to the practice-only condition. Statistically significant sex differences were observed, with girls writing more total words and correct writing sequences than boys. However, in comparison to boys, girls did not differ in their rate of growth. Finally, students' initial level of writing fluency did not differentially predict their growth in writing fluency over the course of the study. Implications for measuring and increasing growth in elementary-aged students' writing fluency are discussed.


Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons