Robin van Rijthoven

46 Chapter 2 Figure 2.1 Path Diagram for the Predictive Role of the Semantic Knowledge on Pseudoword Decoding, Word Decoding, and the Mediators Phonological Awareness and Rapid Automatized Naming. Semantic lexicon Phonological awareness Rapid automatized naming Pseudoword decoding Word decoding .02 .03 -.11* -.13** .15* .17** -.19** Note: Both significant paths (black) and non-significant paths (grey) and their standardized estimates are displayed. * p< .05. ** p< .01. *** p< .001. Conclusions and discussion The main goal of the present study was to investigate the direct and indirect effect of semantic knowledge on pseudoword and word decoding within a group of Dutch children with dyslexia. It was questioned how semantic knowledge in childrenwith dyslexia predicts pseudoword and word decoding directly and indirectly. To begin with, significant indirect effects of semantic knowledge were found on both pseudoword decoding efficiency and word decoding efficiency. In line with findings of Torppa and colleagues (2010), we found that children’s semantic knowledge has a significant effect on both phonological awareness and rapid naming. Just as found by Metsala (1999), we found that a more specific and redundant lexicon is related to phonological awareness. This indicates that the lexicon could facilitate phonological awareness. Although the relation between semantic knowledge and phonological awareness is generally assumed to be reciprocal (Castles & Coltheart, 2004; Perfetti et al., 1987), in the early stages of reading, semantic processing influences reading development and not vice versa (see Verhoeven et al., 2011). Children with dyslexia are still in their early stages of reading, and thus, these results fit prior research. We also found an effect of semantic knowledge on rapid naming as an index of efficiency in lexical retrieval. Importantly, besides direct effects of semantic abilities on phonological awareness