Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 12-15-2023


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education


School of Education

Committee Chair

Bridget Green

Committee Member

Elizabeth McCallum

Committee Member

Ara J. Schmitt


Black girls, Black girls with disabilities, culturally relevant passages, nonculturally relevant passages, middle school, reading difficulties


Research has shown that fewer studies have focused on improving the reading abilities of middle school Black girls (Morris, 2007). As BGRDs progress through K – 12 grades, they increasingly rely on basic and advanced reading skills (i.e., oral reading fluency [ORF] and comprehension) to learn. Providing BGRDs with engaging reading passages that are relevant to their prior knowledge, background, interests, and experiences, is more likely to motivate them to read, and eventually improve their reading skills (Cartledge et al., 2015). While there is a growing body of literature focused on Black students’ experiences, currently no study has explored the use of CR passages to improve the reading skills of middle school BGRDs. Therefore, using an alternating treatment design, this study compared the effectiveness of using CR passages paired with repeated reading (RR) intervention (CR + RR condition) and non-CR (NCR) passages paired with RR intervention (NCR + RR condition) to improve the ORF and comprehension skills of five middle school BGRDs. Participants were repeatedly exposed to both conditions across 10 sessions in a counterbalanced manner. Despite the variability observed in participants’ performances, results revealed that the CR + RR condition led to the greatest improvements in the number of words correct per minute (WCPM), comprehension accuracy, and rate than the NCR + RR condition with large effect sizes ranging between 1.29 and 3.88, respectively, for all participants. Additionally, data from the social validity questionnaire shows that CR passages were most preferred for all participants and teachers. The teachers’ responses also revealed that they would be willing to include CR passages in their students’ reading instruction. Discussion focuses on possible theoretical explanations for the results. Implications and recommendations for improving reading skills for middle school BGRDs are also discussed.