Effects of Automaticity Training on Reading Performance: A Meta-Analysis

Samantha Cooper, Michael Hebert, J. Marc Goodrich, Sergio Leiva, Xin Lin, Peng Peng, J. Ron Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this meta-analysis was to assess the overall effects of automaticity training of fundamental literacy component skills (i.e., letter names/sounds, individual words) on reading fluency and comprehension. Another purpose was to assess if the effects of automaticity training varied for reading fluency and comprehension. We identified 11 research studies involving students in Grades 1–6 that met the inclusion criteria for this meta-analysis. A total of 83 effect sizes (Hedges g, corrected for sample size bias) were extracted from these studies. These studies were double-coded for specific features (e.g., student age, student grade, type of automaticity training). We meta-analyzed the effect sizes using a multi-level meta-analytic model and examined whether the outcome measure type (comprehension or fluency) moderated the effects of automaticity training. We also analyzed for publication bias. The overall effect size for automaticity training of fundamental literacy component skills on reading fluency and comprehension was 0.28, although it was not statistically significant. Shifting units of analysis approach indicated there was a statistically significant effect found for reading fluency outcomes [g = 0.48 (CI =.23,.72)] but not for reading comprehension (ES = 0.17 ns). Limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-52
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Behavioral Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Automaticity training
  • Fundamental literacy component skills
  • Meta-analysis
  • Reading comprehension
  • Reading fluency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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