Children's acquisition of early literacy skills: Examining family contributions

Department of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Box 512 Peabody, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
Early Childhood Research Quarterly (Impact Factor: 1.67). 01/2002; 17(3):295-317. DOI: 10.1016/S0885-2006(02)00166-7


A study of 143 families and their preschool-age children was undertaken to examine the relationship between the family environment and children’s language and literacy skills. This research was guided by three models hypothesized by Snow, Barnes, Chandler, Goodman, and Hemphill (1991) to explain the family’s contribution to children’s acquisition of language and literacy. The three theoretical models examined in this study were: Family as Educator, Resilient Family, and Parent–Child Care Partnership. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling were used to estimate latent constructs and structural models, respectively. Results showed that only the Family as Educator model was significantly related to child language and literacy outcomes (i.e., book-related knowledge, receptive language skills, and expressive language skills). Implications for future researchers and educational practice are discussed.

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    • "Preschool children from stimulating home literacy environments benefit from engaging in a wide variety of literacy activities, such as shared storybook reading, playbased activities, and conversations with family members (Wood, 2002). Given the importance of early literacy skills as a foundation for children's subsequent reading development and academic success (Bennett, Weigel, & Martin, 2002), an enhanced understanding of supportive literacy environments in the homes of preschoolers is essential. Among components of home literacy, one area that has received a great deal of attention is parent-child shared book reading. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research shows that home environments play a critical role in developing children's early literacy skills. Given the importance of developing early literacy skills to bolster children's chances for subsequent academic success, this article highlights the role of parent-child shared book reading. Summarizing research on different types of parent-child interactions during shared book reading, it unveils strategies that parents may use to maximize the benefits of these experiences. The strategies have implications across cultures to enhance understanding of and appreciation for home-based practices in building supportive literacy environments for preschoolers.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Childhood Education
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    • "The family plays a critical role in the development of successful patterns for lifelong learning. Several features of the home learning environment, such as maternal education, family income, and parenting practices, have been identified as important predictors of child outcomes (Bennett et al., 2002; Brooks-Gunn et al., 2000; Kagan et al., 1995). The landmark report, From Neurons to Neighborhoods, states, " striking disparities in what children know and can do are evident well before they enter kindergarten. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the effect of participation in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters program on the school readiness of children born to teenage mothers versus children born to traditional-age mothers participating in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters program. A 45-item survey was collected from the kindergarten teachers of both the children of teenage mothers in the Texas Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters program and a matched control group. The survey consisted of five subsections: socioemotional development, approaches to learning, physical development, language development, and general knowledge. Results of independent samples t-tests indicated no statistical difference between the two groups. These results seem to suggest that the curriculum used by the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters program, which focuses on supporting parents as their child’s first teacher, helps to mitigate any potential negative effects on being a child of a teenage mother.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Journal of Early Childhood Research
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    • "The parents of children in both samples frequently read to their children, provided their children with numerous books, and felt literacy learning was important for their children. This may be resultant of our well-educated sample ; maternal education may explain home literacy activities and beliefs (Bennett et al., 2002; Skibbe et al., 2008). We point out that such favorable circumstances may not apply to other demographic groups and may have resulted in uncharacteristically high print-related competence in both groups of children. "
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    ABSTRACT: A comparative analysis between emergent procedural and conceptual print-related achievements was conducted for 32 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) aged 4 to 8 years. To minimize the influence of linguistic competence on the assessment, the ASD print-related profile was compared with that of a language-matched sample of typically developing peers. Two factors associated with young children’s print-related achievements, their print motivation and home-based experiences, were illustrated for the matched participants. We found that children with ASD earned significantly higher scores on a parentally reported composite measure of emergent procedural (e.g., letter name identification) than conceptual (e.g., pretend reading) print-related accomplishments. The children with ASD were more often reported by their parents as motivated by letters but less likely to request or enjoy shared reading than their language-matched peers. Findings provide a preliminary profile of emergent print-related accomplishments that may be considered in educational planning for children with ASD.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
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