Susan Sonnenschein

Susan Sonnenschein
University of Maryland, Baltimore County | UMBC · Department of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

107
Publications
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2,109
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Publications

Publications (107)
Article
Background: Alcohol consumption in the U.S. is a public health problem that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Relatedly, many states have responded to COVID-19 by relaxing their alcohol laws, making it possible for adults to have alcohol delivered to their homes. This study sought to understand the impact of allowing alcohol home deliv...
Article
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The two studies in this paper considered the use of the classroom library as a means of socializing mathematics development in Turkish preschoolers. Study 1 (n = 80) documented whether classes had a library, its contents, and whether/how teachers encouraged children to use the library. Study 2 (n = 47) investigated the teachers’ confidence in teach...
Article
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It is well accepted that the home learning environment impacts school performance; however, much of the previous research has focused on preschool children. This exploratory study used an online, Qualtrics survey to ask parents (N = 177) of elementary students about the home learning environment. Our research questions addressed (1) the amount of t...
Article
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Background The importance of parental beliefs and practices related to children’s school readiness skills is widely documented, but few studies explicitly focus on immigrant families. Further, no known studies have examined immigrant parents’ beliefs about what skills children need to be successful in kindergarten.Objectives The overarching aim of...
Article
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Research continues to emerge about the impact of COVID-19 on education; however, reports about the impact on students receiving special education services are more limited. This study examined parental views of distance learning for students with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis. Using a survey disseminated via social media, we examined pare...
Chapter
The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a substantial change in the routines of families worldwide. The aim of this chapter is to portray universal and culturally specific characteristics of parenthood during a time of crisis. We studied reports of parenting behaviors during the first lockdown (March–May 2020) in five cultures: Bulgaria (Eastern Europe),...
Article
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The two studies examined in this paper compare the different mathematical opportunities provided in preschool classrooms in China, Japan, and the United States, with an emphasis on mathematical-themed books in classroom libraries. Study one presents the results of an online survey to examining the content of preschool classroom libraries in China (...
Article
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COVID-19 has caused increased stress among U.S. adults, with many reporting concerns assisting their children with distance learning due to school closures. This study surveyed U.S. parents–most of whom were middle-aged, White, affluent, and female–to learn what types of distance learning activities parents engaged in with their children during COV...
Article
The eight studies in this special section focus on different aspects of young children’s home learning environments during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic. Children and their families came from four different countries- – mainland China, Hong Kong, Israel, Spain, and the U.S. Of interest in all but one of the studies, was the nature of youn...
Article
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This article synthesizes findings from an international virtual conference, funded by the United States National Science Foundation, focused on the home mathematics environment (HME). In light of inconsistencies and gaps in research investigating relations between the HME and children’s outcomes, the purpose of the conference was to discuss actiona...
Article
Research Findings: During COVID-19 many countries, including the U.S., implemented stay-at-home policies that closed most schools and childcare centers. This research focuses on the home learning environment reported by parents for U.S. children ages two through nine during the COVID-19 crisis. Parents in the U.S. (N = 162) completed an online surv...
Article
Parents are children’s first teachers, and it is critical that they understand what children need to be successful in school. This study examined the school readiness beliefs of 43 Latinx immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. Parents participated in semi-structured interviews regarding which skills their children should hav...
Article
This study investigated the beliefs parents of preschoolers (N = 126) have for facilitating their children's reading and mathematics development. The study used an online survey distributed via social media to examine parents' views of their children's home-based reading and mathematics engagement, parents' confidence to support their children's re...
Article
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Emerging but limited evidence suggests that alcohol consumption has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study assessed: (1) whether drinking behaviors changed during the pandemic; and, (2) how those changes were impacted by COVID-19-related stress. We conducted a cross-sectional online survey with a convenience sample of U.S. adults over 2...
Article
Research Findings: Parent involvement is a critical way for children to learn about the importance of education and develop reading skills. Unfortunately, not all low-income parents are able to be involved in their children’s education, which can have negative implications for children’s reading development. The present study tested if the strength...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study investigated the beliefs parents of preschoolers (N=126) have for facilitating their children’s reading and mathematics development. The study used an online survey distributed via social media to examine parents’ views of their children’s home-based reading and mathematics engagement, parents’ confidence to support their children’s read...
Article
Full-text available
To be successful in school, children must pay attention, ignore distractions, persist on tasks, be organized, and plan their work. However, these processes are not typically taught in school, and research has not yet examined whether children understand them. Given that children’s understanding (metacognitive knowledge) of learning processes is ass...
Article
Research Findings: These two studies examined the different mathematical opportunities provided in preschool classrooms, with a particular focus on the availability of mathematical-themed books in classroom libraries. In study one, we interviewed teachers (N= 150) using an online survey to assess the content of preschool classroom libraries. In stu...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose To evaluate the effect of a NICU parent education program on parents' early language and literacy practices, and on their confidence interpreting and responding to infant signals. Design Single group, pre- and post-test, mixed-methods evaluation design. Sample One hundred and four parents and other caregivers completed questionnaires befo...
Presentation
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Research shows that acquisition of early literacy skills improves young children’s lives and paves the way toward their success as adults. When different groups partner together, they can create impactful programs that reach targeted vulnerable populations. A panel of partners will describe the steps taken to set-up Mother Goose on the Loose: Gosli...
Article
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Integrating multiple theoretical frameworks, the authors examined rising first- to fourth-grade students’ mathematics utility conceptions—their knowledge and beliefs about the usefulness of mathematics, home-based mathematics engagement, and grade-level differences in mathematics utility conceptions and home engagement. Most children viewed mathema...
Preprint
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Concerted Cultivation among Low-Income Black and Latino Families
Article
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Of the 76,510 babies born during an average week in the United States, 7,361—or about 10 percent—are born prematurely.1 Preterm babies, born before the thirty-seventh week of gestation, can be born with underdeveloped organ systems and other health problems that impact their ability to survive on their own outside of the womb.
Chapter
Much of the literature on the academic development of Black and Latino children from low-income backgrounds has taken a deficits perspective. That is, it has focused on the skills these children or families lack and has viewed these weaknesses as stemming, at least in part, from weaknesses in what the families are doing to foster their children’s e...
Chapter
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This chapter examines low-income Black and Latino parents’ beliefs and practices about providing an educationally rich environment for their children. More specifically, it focuses on what parents believe about how their preschool children learn, their role in such learning, and the reading and math activities they make available to their children....
Book
This book offers a strengths-based, family-focused approach to improving the educational performance and school experience of struggling Black and Latino students. The book discusses educational challenges faced by low-income families of color and the different strengths within Black and Latino family life that can affect these challenges. It focus...
Article
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The preschool years are a critical time for math development. Unfortunately, children from low-income backgrounds often enter kindergarten with lower math skills than middle-income peers, perhaps due to less math exposure at home. Few home-based math interventions are available for preschool age children; those that do exist are costly and difficul...
Article
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Despite the growing body of research on parents' beliefs and practices, relatively little is known about the relations between parents' knowledge of children's development, home-based activities, and children's early reading and math skills. This study used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort to examine the differences in...
Article
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The association between monolingual children’s early language abilities and their later reading performance is well established. However, for English language learners, the pattern of associations between early language skills and later literacy is much less well understood for English language learners. This study examined language predictors of p...
Article
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Family contexts of academic socialization have received growing attention as a way to facilitate the educational development of children and adolescents. The goal of this special issue is to present comparative and complex perspectives about the roles of culture, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES) in multifaceted academic socialization proce...
Article
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Children from low-income and Black and Latino families are often at risk for reading and math difficulties. We examined whether there were differences in Black and Latino Head Start parents' beliefs about reading and math socialization, frequency of children's engagement in reading and math, and children's reading and math skills. There were differ...
Article
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This study used Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort data to examine influences of the home and classroom learning environments on kindergarten mathematics achievement of Black, Latino, and White children. Regardless of race/ethnicity, children who started kindergarten proficient in mathematics earned spring scores about 7-8 point...
Article
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Article
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Communication can be conceptualized as consisting of substantive knowledge, enabling skills, and procedural rule knowledge. Deficits in any of these components can cause communications to go awry. Much recent research has focused on developmental differences in procedural rule knowledge. This study examined the child’s acquisition of the difference...
Article
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This study explored whether the quality of Head Start teachers' language improves the vocabulary, literacy, and math skills of English language learners and English speakers. The CLASS (Language Modeling scale) was used to observe the quality of teachers' language. Children's skills were assessed in the fall and spring on measures of expressive and...
Article
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This study explores whether the quality of Head Start teachers' language fosters gains in children's vocabulary, literacy, and math skills, and whether the pattern is similar for low income English language learners and English speakers. Children (N=191) attended two urban Head Start Centers. The CLASS (language modeling scale) was used to observe...
Data
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This study explored associations between parents' beliefs about children's development and children's reported math activities at home. Seventy-three parents were interviewed about the frequency of their children's participation in a broad array of math activities, the importance of children doing math activities at home, how children learn math, p...
Data
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This study examined the association of inattention and children's math achievement from elementary to middle school. Correlational analyses were used to explore year-to-year growth in math fact retrieval, calculation, and conceptual knowledge of place value. Latent growth curve modeling was used to examine whether children who are consistently rate...
Chapter
Parents play an important role in their children's education before and after they start school. Prior to the start of formal schooling, parents prepare their children for school through a combination of parenting cognitions, styles, and practices. After children start school, parents' interactions and relations with their children's schools become...
Chapter
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Poverty affects children's educational success through family processes and neighborhood factors. Within the family, the type of talk children hear at home, their educationally relevant experiences, and the beliefs parents have about children's development as well as the nature of interactions predict educational achievement. How families relate to...
Chapter
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The Early Childhood Project examined the intimate culture of young children’s homes, defined by a confluence of parental beliefs, recurrent activities, and interactive processes, and the relation between that intimate culture and the children’s literacy development. The children in the 5-year longitudinal study came from low- and middle-income fami...
Article
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Mothers' views of what they teach their preschoolers in everyday situations and their beliefs about the importance of teaching particular kinds of skills were explored. Middle class mothers of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children were asked to identify situations/activities in which they intentionally set out to teach their child and situations/activiti...
Article
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A latent growth model was used to investigate the longer term efficacy of phonics and integrated language arts instruction as well as amount of such instruction on children's reading development, using the nationally representative Early Childhood Longitudinal Study data set (kindergarten through fifth grade). Type and amount of instruction were de...
Article
Educators have long known that issues beyond those directly related to school and the classroom, influence education outcomes. However, working with young people to address such issues has been problematic as they often involve family, community and even the larger culture. Further, older teens, particularly those at the largest risk of dropping ou...
Book
Literacy is one of the most highly valued cultural resources of contemporary American society, yet far too many children in the nation’s cities leave school without becoming sufficiently literate. This book reports the results of a 5-year longitudinal study in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, tracing literacy development from prekindergarten throug...
Article
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The intimate family culture for early literacy socialization was documented for a socioculturally heterogeneous sample of 66 children enrolled in pre-kindergarten through third grade at public elementary schools in a large U.S. city. Parents were interviewed about 3 types of indexes of their family's intimate culture: the child's engagement in vari...
Article
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In order to understand the impact of home-based reading practices on young children’s literacy development, we need to consider both the types of comments made while reading as well as the affective quality of the reading interaction. Five-year-olds, during the summer prior to kindergarten, were observed reading both a familiar and an unfamiliar bo...
Article
This study examined parents' verbal and affective interactions with their first-grade children during shared storybook reading and how these interactions relate to growth in children's reading activity and achievement. Participants varied in income level and ethnicity. The nature and amount of meaning-related talk was similar regardless of whether...
Article
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Compared the beliefs of African-American (AA) and European-American (EA) elementary teachers about teaching and literacy development. Teacher interviews found no differences in child development perceptions and approaches to literacy. AA teachers placed more emphasis on the themes of universal educability and teacher responsibility, while EA teache...
Article
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The Early Childhood Project is a longitudinal investigation of the contexts in which children from different sociocultural groups learn to read. The data discussed here were collected from 41 families when the focal children were in prekindergarten and kindergarten. Data sources were diary reports of children's activities, parental answers to inter...
Article
This study investigated the instructional strategies mothers used when interacting with their child on a concept-learning task and the effect of this interaction on subsequent independent child performance. Also investigated was whether mothers' behaviors and perceptions differed depending on the child's age, task difficulty, or the child's needs f...
Experiment Findings
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exploratory investigation of teacher-inquiry projects as an opportunity for practical implementation of theoretically driven research on relations between children's homes and schools in the promotion of early literacy development
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Factors that contribute to developmental vulnerability were examined in a 4-year follow-up of 31 children who, as infants, had participated in an investigation of the relationship between recurrent otitis media and developmental status. The children in this inner-city sample experienced significant decline in their language and developmental status...
Article
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This study examined how task context and task difficulty may affect the nature of mother–child instructional interactions. It also assessed the role of maternal views about these two factors. Mothers interacted with their 3-year-olds on a matching task tapping spatial relation concepts. Sixty-four dyads received either an easy or difficult version...
Article
Recent research on the development of classification skills has revealed intriguing developmental changes in the kinds of strategies preschoolers use to sort items. Two experiments examined the nature of these changes by analyzing the classification strategies of 3-year-olds, 5-year-olds, and adults as they sorted miniature furniture items into fun...