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vol. 2
Original paper

Familial risk of dyslexia in Polish first grade pupils based on the ARHQ-PL Questionnaire

Grażyna Krasowicz-Kupis, Katarzyna M. Bogdanowicz, Katarzyna Wiejak

Health Psychology Report, 2(4), 237–246
Online publish date: 2014/10/18
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From the perspective of dyslexia, familial risk is the issue most researched worldwide. The familial risk has never been studied in Poland. Results of many studies conducted in Europe, the U.S. and Australia show that children who have a close family member with dyslexia are at greater risk of this disorder than children in the control groups. This conclusion is backed up by the results of research on the genetic aetiology of learning disorders. In the presented study on Polish 1st grade students, the Adult Reading History Questionnaire by Lefly and Pennington (2000) in the Polish adaptation (ARHQ-PL) was used. The connections between the familial risk and the level of reading, spelling, phonological abilities and other cognitive functions were analysed.

Participants and procedure

The study covered 513 children, including their parents, from randomly selected primary schools in the Mazowieckie province. According to the ARHQ-PL assumptions, the children’s parents were divided into groups taking into account the familial risk level. Children were individually assessed for reading, spelling, phonological abilities, naming speed, phonological memory, vocabulary level and selective attention.

Inter-group comparisons were performed based on the analysed variables for the groups of children whose parents had critical results in the ARHQ. The comparisons identified high risk (or lack of risk), as per sex, age, education level and SES (socio-economical status).


The results show that there is a significant connection between risk group membership and the level of reading and of the majority of assessed phonological abilities. More significant relationships were determined for the familial risk of dyslexia observed for mothers.


The study confirms the diagnostic accuracy of the familial dyslexia risk ratio determined using the ARHQ-PL questionnaire for reading and for the majority of the phonological abilities closely connected with reading. Further longitudinal studies are needed to confirm the prognostic accuracy of diagnosing developmental dyslexia.

familial risk of dyslexia; phonological abilities; parental self-report; dyslexia phenotype; reading and spelling

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