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This meta-analysis assessed the effect of word-problem-solving interventions on the word-problem-solving accuracy of students identified as having a learning disability (LD) or at risk for an LD in kindergarten to the sixth grade. Eighteen randomized control group designed studies met the inclusion criteria. Overall, word-problem-solving interventions yielded a significant positive effect on the word-problem-solving accuracy of students in elementary grades with LD (effect size [ES] = 1.08). Instructional components that underlie effective studies were also identified. Results suggest that peer interaction and transfer instructions yielded large effects on treatment outcomes. Results also suggested that intensive interventions (50-min sessions, 34 total sessions) in Grade 3 regardless of instructional setting yielded the largest ESs. These findings support the need to develop and implement quality evidence-based instruction in classroom settings (Tier 1 instruction) prior to utilizing additional resources for more intensive and individualized intervention.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Learning Disability Quarterly in 2021 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at

Peer Reviewed



Hammill Institute on Disabilities



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