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Ryan P. Bowles - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Ryan P. Bowles

Associate Professor of Department of Human Development and Family Studies | Michigan State University


Measurement and Assessment of Early Childhood Language and Literacy.


Ryan P. Bowles, Associate Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, received his doctorate in quantitative psychology from the University of Virginia. His research focuses on using advanced statistical methods for understanding the development of language and literacy in early childhood. He has a particular focus on the creation and analysis of assessments of language and literacy, especially for children with developmental disabilities.

Industry Expertise (4)

Writing and Editing



Mental Health Care

Areas of Expertise (4)

Language Assessments

Developmental and Learning Challenges

Preschool literacy

Childhood Developmental Disabilities

Accomplishments (1)

First place, Poster competition

2009 Michigan State University Undergraduate Research Fair

Education (2)

University of Virginia: Ph.D., Quantitative Psychology 2006

University of Virginia: M.A., Quantitative Psychology, 2003

Affiliations (1)

  • 2017 – current Editorial Board, Psychological Assessment

News (3)

MSU Leads Effort to Boost Preschoolers’ Writing Skills

MSU Today  


Gerde’s co-investigators are Gary Bingham from Georgia State University and Ryan Bowles from MSU...

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Why kids who have trouble behaving in preschool fall behind

The Conversation (US)  


The landscape of early schooling is drastically changing. More and more children are attending school at an earlier age. At the same time, early childhood and kindergarten programs are increasing focus on academic content. But are these children ready for school?

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Many Kindergartners Struggle With Self-Regulation

MSU Today  


“If you can help children to develop this fundamental skill of behavioral self-regulation, it will allow these students to get so much more out of education,” said Ryan Bowles, associate professor in MSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies. “Self-regulation is very predictive of academic success.”...

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Research Focus (4)

Development and feasibility of an online training for paraeducators to improve communication supports for young children with complex communication needs

Institute of Education Sciences

Development of the Bilingual Assessment of Phonological Sensitivity

Institute of Education Sciences

Development of the Inventory of Phonological Awareness with Alternative Responses (IPAAR)

Institute of Education Sciences

Development of the Improving Writing Resources and Interactions in Teaching Environments through Professional Development (IWRITE-PD) for teachers of economically disadvantaged children

Institute of Education Sciences

Journal Articles (4)

Model Fit and Item Factor Analysis: Overfactoring, Underfactoring, and a Program to Guide Interpretation

Multivariate Behavioral Research

2018 In exploratory item factor analysis (IFA), researchers may use model fit statistics and commonly invoked fit thresholds to help determine the dimensionality of an assessment. However, these indices and thresholds may mislead as they were developed in a confirmatory framework for models with continuous, not categorical, indicators.

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Self-regulation and the development of literacy and language achievement from preschool through second grade

Early Childhood Research Quarterly

2018 Previous research has established that higher levels of behavioral self-regulation are associated with higher levels of language and literacy. In this study, we take a more developmental perspective by considering how trajectories of self-regulation development (early, intermediate, late) predict the way literacy and language skills develop from preschool through second grade.

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Easy as AcHGzrjq: The Quick Letter Name Knowledge Assessment

The Reading Teacher

2017 A firm foundation in alphabet knowledge is critical for children learning to read. Under new literacy standards, letter name knowledge in preschool and kindergarten can function as a gatekeeper to the rest of the curriculum. Teachers need data about their students’ alphabet knowledge early and often to plan differentiated instruction that moves all students forward in their literacy development.

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Item Response Analysis of Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Name Knowledge

Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment

2013 Letter name knowledge in the preschool ages is a strong predictor of later reading ability, but little is known about the psychometric characteristics of uppercase and lowercase letters considered together. Data from 1,113 preschoolers from diverse backgrounds on both uppercase and lowercase letter name knowledge were analyzed using Item Response Theory.

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