Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Rachel Brown PhD

Second Advisor

Rebekah Bickford PsyD

Third Advisor

C. Lee Goss PsyD


Peer tutoring, peer-assisted learning strategies, middle school, reading comprehension, PsyD


This study examined the efficacy of peer tutoring, specifically Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS), as supplemental instruction for middle school students with reading difficulties. A multiple baseline across individuals design was used to demonstrate changes in oral reading fluency and reading comprehension. The results of this study suggest that students who participated in PALS did not substantially increase reading fluency or comprehension when analyzed on the basis of non-overlapping data points. Nonetheless, two of the three underperforming students improved their reading skills such that they were no longer in the at-risk range by the end of the study. The third lower-performing student did make important gains over the course of the study. Notably, the lower-performing participants perceived themselves as having made gains in reading and they attributed these gains to working with a partner. The limitations and implications of future research are discussed.