Don L. Compton

Director, Florida Center for Reading Research

Not recruiting a graduate student for Fall of 2024

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Contact Information



Northwestern University, 1993

Research Interests

Dr. Compton is Professor of Psychology at Florida State University/Florida Center for Reading Research. He was formerly Professor and Chair of Special Education and a John F. Kennedy Center Investigator at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. He earned a Ph.D. from Northwestern University's School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, with a specialization in learning disabilities. While working on his Ph.D., and for several years after its completion, he was employed as a learning disabilities resource teacher in Skokie, Illinois. Compton then worked for four years as an assistant professor in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He then accepted a NICHD post-doctoral research fellowship at the Institute for Behavior Genetics, University of Colorado. From there he accepted a position at Vanderbilt University that he held until the spring of 2015. He then accepted his current position with the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida Sate University. Compton is experienced in designing, managing, analyzing, and disseminating data from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies as well as randomized control studies. His research involves modeling individual differences in the development of children's reading skills and the identification and treatment of children with reading disabilities. Compton has served as PI and Co-PI on multiple NICHD and IES studies using randomized controlled trials to evaluate academic interventions for children with learning difficulties. He has over 75 peer-review publications and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Scientific Studies of Reading, and Exceptional Children. Compton is the past President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading and currently serves as associate-editor of Scientific Study of Reading.

Lab Description

Modeling individual differences in the development of children's reading skills and the identification and treatment of children with reading disabilities.

Steacy, L. M., Elleman, A. M., Lovett, M. W., & Compton, D. L. (2016). Exploring Differential effects across two decoding treatments on item-level transfer in children with significant word reading difficulties: A new approach for testing intervention elements. Scientific Studies of Reading.

Steacy, L. M., Kearns, D. N, Gilbert, J. K., Compton, D. L., Cho, E., Lindstrom, E. R., & Collins, A. A. (2016). Exploring individual differences in irregular word recognition among children with early-emerging and late-emerging word reading difficulty. Journal of Educational Psychology.

Cho, E., Compton, Donald L., Gilbert, Jennifer K., Steacy, Laura M., Collins, Alyson A., and Lindstrom, Esther R. (2015). Development of First-Graders' Word Reading Skills: For Whom Can Dynamic Assessment Tell Us More? Journal of Learning Disabilities.

Kearns, Devin M., Steacy, Laura M., Compton, Donald L., Gilbert, Jennifer K., Goodwin, Amanda P., Cho, E., Lindstr�m, Esther R. and Collins, Alyson A. (2015). Modeling Polymorphemic Word Recognition: Exploring Differences Among Children With Early-Emerging and Late-Emerging Word Reading Difficulty Journal of Learning Disabilities.

Steacy, Laura M., Kirby, John R., Parrila, Rauno & Compton, Donald L. (2014). Classification of Double Deficit Groups Across Time: An Analysis of Group Stability From Kindergarten to Second Grade, Scientific Studies of Reading, DOI: 10.1080/10888438.2013.873936.

Compton, Donald L., Miller, Amanda C., Elleman, Amy M. & Steacy, Laura M. (2014). Have We Forsaken Reading Theory in the Name of "Quick Fix" Interventions for Children With Reading Disability?, Scientific Studies of Reading, 18:1, 55-73, DOI: 10.1080/10888438.2013.836200.

Gilbert, Jennifer K., Goodwin, Amanda P., Compton, Donald L., Kearns, Devin M. (2014). Multisyllabic Word Reading as a Moderator of Morphological Awareness and Reading Comprehension. Journal of Learning Disabilities.

Gilbert, J. K., Compton, D. L., Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., Bouton, B., Barquero, L. A., Cho, E. (2013). Efficacy of a First-Grade Responsiveness-to-Intervention Prevention Model for Struggling Readers. Reading Research Quarterly, 48, 135-154.

Gilbert, J. K., Compton, D. L., & Kearns, D. K (2011). Word and Person Effects on Decoding Accuracy: A New Look at an Old Question. Journal of Educational Psychology 103, 489-507.

Undergraduate Research

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