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Today's parents are inundated with new solutions to help young children improve their reading ability. For parents hoping to raise a literate child, the best option may be one that's been around for generations: the bedtime story. This article will showcase recent work suggesting that early shared reading has valuable benefits, for both reading ability and also for a child's language development.
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... The emotions experienced by the characters help children to discover a wide range of emotions and identify what they have felt in the past or are experiencing in the present, express their thoughts and feelings, enhance their self-esteem, and develop themselves into autonomous individuals (Fleer & Hammer, 2013;Hohr, 2010). Of particular importance is the fact that children can observe the reactions resulting from the emotions of the heroes (with whom they identify) without experiencing the severity of the consequences that may have existed in real life (Agnoli et al., 2022;Garner, 2010;Blake & Maiese, 2008). ...
Fairy tales are undoubtedly the most popular type of literature for children, as they offer pleasure and allow them to travel to unique and fantasy places. However, their value is not limited to entertainment alone, as there are multiple additional benefits from children's exposure to fairy tales: Fairy tales can contribute to children's holistic development and therefore they are an excellent pedagogical tool for educators. The aim of this study is to evaluate the views of 213 educators working in nursery schools in Attica (Greece), on the contribution of fairy tales in the development of children under 3 years of age, using a research questionnaire with close-ended questions. Also, this study explores the techniques used by the educators to introduce fairy tales in the pedagogical process, and the domains targeted to attain children's development by using these fictional narrations. The results of the research show that educators use the fairy tale in children under 3 years of age, primarily to improve the domain of their language development and the most common technique for introducing the fairy tale into pedagogical practice is simply storytelling. Finally, the present study attempts to contribute to research bibliography, showing the importance of fairy tales to a child’s development and at the same time fill the research gap that exists for children under 3 years of age.
... Apart from enriching vocabulary, and improving language skills such as reading comprehension and narrative skills, bedtime storytelling has social and emotional benefits, too (Blake &Maiese, 2008). It increases the child"s sensitivity towards other people"s mental states, which can ultimately contribute towards the development of what is recognized today as emotional intelligence. ...
The Bedtime Story- A New Chapter
The study of human sleep spans the biological, psychosocial as well as sociocultural realms. In fact, sleep is frequently considered a biopsychosocial concept. Newly developed scientific techniques of the 20th century have facilitated advances in the study of the neurophysiological correlates of sleep- a heretofore unexplored area. Research has also given importance to the psychological dimension of sleep, most notably, to a mutual cause-and-effect relationship between psychological disturbance and sleep disorders. The cultural context of sleep, however, offers scope for more exploration.In view of this existing lacuna in sleep-related research, the present study has chosen to focus on the significance of a cultural practice- the narration of bedtime stories.
The telling of bedtime stories to children has formed a pre-sleep ritual in cultures around the world, with the narrator usually being an adult, or, at times, an older sibling of the young listener. The source of such stories has ranged from mythology, fairy tales and popular folk tales, to the narrator’s own creative imagination or even personal experiences. While such oral and written traditions have existed in extremely varied cultures, the themes of the stories have, interestingly, borne remarkable similarities.
In recent decades it has become increasingly evident from research findings that the role of bedtime stories extends far beyond making a child go to sleep peacefully. It is the purpose of the current article, therefore, to examine the narration of bedtime stories not merely as a cultural phenomenon, but as a phenomenon that has the potential to have a cognitive, social and psychological impact on the life of the child. The discussion attempts to thereby cover both, the developmental and the therapeutic effects of the inclusion of such a ritual in the nighttimeroutine of the child.It goes on to specify whether the effects mentioned are transitory or more long-lasting and permanent.
This article is based on an extensive review of the existing scientific literature obtained from periodicals, books and online databases.
The significance of this present study lies in its weaving together of various interconnected factors, and throwing light on relationships that have not so far been apparent, thus making it possible for the scientific community to reap the benefits of an interdisciplinary study.
Key words: Bedtime stories, Children, Culture, Sleep
... Whether actually reading aggressive content in novels has an effect is unknown. On one hand, reading time and achievement are associated with a host of positive outcomes in adolescence (see Blake & Maiese, 2008;Rangappa, 1993;Wilczynski, 2006). However, this research typically examines time spent reading or reading achievement as opposed to content. ...
Adolescents' exposure to violence in the media has been associated with increases in aggressive thoughts and behaviors. While violent content has been studied extensively in other media, aggression portrayed in literature has not been assessed in detail. Given the continued popularity of reading among adolescents and the potential impact of content on cognitions and behaviors, this study aims to increase knowledge in this understudied area. Aggressive behavior was coded in forty bestselling adolescent novels on The New York Times Best-Sellers List (time span June–July 2008). Results revealed that adolescents are exposed to a significant number of aggressive acts while reading novels. Relational and verbal forms of aggression were more frequent than physical forms. Most aggression was portrayed as having no consequences. Thus, books represent one potentially overlooked source of exposure to aggressive content. Content guides on books are discussed.
... Adrian et al. (2005) identified a significant positive correlation between parent-child book reading in the home and the development of a theory of mind. Similarly, Blake and Maiese (2008) suggest SR may strengthen the emotional bonds between parent and child, and enjoyment of reading is strongly related to reading performance (OECD, 2011). ...
Previous studies have demonstrated the positive impact of shared reading (SR) and dialogic reading (DR) on young children's language and literacy development. This exploratory study compared the relative impact of parental DR and shared reading interventions on 4-year-old children's early literacy skills and parental attitudes to reading prior to and following school entry. Parents were trained using a self-instruction training DVD. The children's rhyme awareness, word reading, concepts about print and writing vocabulary were assessed before and after 6 weeks over the summer period and again after one term in school. Four illustrative case studies are presented, which reveal the differential impact of the interventions on the families who participated. Findings indicated that DR had a positive impact on children's enjoyment of reading, concepts about print, parent–child reading behaviours and parental attitudes to joint storybook reading. The children who experienced shared-book reading during the intervention also demonstrated improvements in word reading. There were no changes in rhyme awareness or writing vocabulary for either group. Changes in print concept awareness were not maintained at follow-up, but improvements in writing vocabulary and word reading scores were noted. The reasons for this are discussed with reference to the formal literacy instruction the children received during their first academic term.
A sample syllabus with detailed guidance on adapting collegiate coursework to a two-generational format.
Course: Children's Literature
A note to the reader. Enclosed are a set of examples intended to offer a practical theoretical example of what a two-generation course might look like. However, because the Two-Generation Classroom is an approach rather than a curriculum, the intent here is not to provide curricula per se, but rather to inspire it. It is our vision that the Two-Generation Classroom format can be developed by interdisciplinary college and university educators to address a wide variety of course offerings, subject areas, and topics, across the general education core. Our aim with the Two-Generation Classroom is to support faculty interested in developing and implementing two-generational curricula, and to inspire new ideas for innovation. We approach the design of two-generation courses, much like one approaches the thoughtfully strategized design of any "new prep" course. There is boiler plate language that goes into every syllabus, which gets copy and pasted. This includes standard boiler plate language required by every institution, as well as a set of specific guidelines for the two-generation classroom format. These guidelines are included as part of the sample syllabus provided here. Next, we start by looking at other syllabi from other professors who have taught the same course. Again, this is similar to how many college faculty approach design of new course curricula. Previous syllabi from your home institution have critical information including: 1. The official name and number of the course (although you probably already have this) 2. The official catalog description of the course 3. The targeted learning outcomes of the course 4. Potential readings or other materials to assign throughout the course (to select from as you wish) Our example syllabi for the Two-Generation Classroom approach were developed beginning with syllabi provided by higher education colleagues, and have been substantially reworked, adapted and revised, to the point that few similarities beyond the above established course parameters remain. Children's Literature was developed beginning with a syllabus from Dr. Sara Quay at Endicott College. We are thankful to Dr. Quay for her support and feedback as this example curriculum was developed. In reviewing the enclosed lesson plans, please note that the provided syllabi are "teacher versions." Several notes have been added in purple text indicating comments, considerations and other information directed toward postsecondary educators. It is our hope that our sample lesson plans inspire and engage higher education educators as partners and collaborators in developing and implementing two-generation pedagogy as an innovation in postsecondary teaching and learning. Remember, while it may seem like we are playing and having fun, the Two-Generation Classroom is a rigorously theory-informed approach promoting educational equity for student parents, and other students with caregiving responsibilities, while ensuring that each student meets or exceeds the learning standards for the course as traditionally offered.
Özet: Araştırmanın amacı ev merkezli etkileşimli kitap okumanın okul öncesi eğitim almayan 48-60 aylık çocukların duyguları anlama becerisine etkisinin incelenmesi ve annelerin etkileşimli kitap okuma sürecine ilişkin görüşlerinin belirlenmesidir. Çalışmada karma araştırmalardan iç içe karma desen tercih edilmiştir. Araştırmanın çalışma grubunu okul öncesi eğitim kurumuna devam etmeyen 49 çocuk ve anneleri oluşturmaktadır. Çocuk ve annelerin 26'sı deney grubunda yer alırken 23'ü kontrol grubunda yer almaktadır. Deney grubunda yer alan annelerden etkileşimli kitap okuma yöntemi ile kontrol grubundaki annelerden ise geleneksel okuma tekniği ile çocuklarına duygu odaklı kitap okumaları istenmiştir. Araştırma verileri Denham Duygu Anlama Testi ve Yarı Yapılandırılmış Görüş Formu aracılığıyla toplanmıştır. Araştırmanın nicel verilerinin analizinde t testi kullanılırken nitel veriler içerik analizi ile çözümlenmiştir. Araştırma sonuçları incelendiğinde; ev merkezli etkileşimli kitap okuma yönteminin okul öncesi eğitim almayan 48-60 aylık çocukların duygu anlama becerilerini anlamlı düzeyde arttırdığını göstermektedir. Araştırmanın nitel bulguları nicel bulguları destekler niteliktedir. Bu doğrultuda deney grubunda yer alan anneler etkileşimli kitap okumanın çocukların duygu ifadelerini öğrenme, duygularını ifade etme ve başkalarının duygularını anlama becerisine olumlu şekilde yansıdığını dile getirmişlerdir. Anahtar Sözcükler: Duyguları anlama becerisi, erken çocukluk, etkileşimli kitap okuma, ev okuryazarlık ortamı, anne-çocuk etkileşimi Abstract: The aim of the study is to investigate the effect of home-based interactive book-reading on 48-60 months old children's understanding of emotions and to determine the views of mothers regarding interactive book-reading process. Embedded mixed research design was used. The study group consisted of 49 children who do not attend preschool education and their mothers. The children and the mothers participated in the study, 26 in the experimental group and 23 in the control group. The mothers in the experimental group were asked to read emotion-focused books to their children by the interactive book reading method. The mothers in the control group were asked to read same books to their children using the traditional reading method. The data of the study were collected with the Denham Affect Knowledge Test and semi-structured interview form. The quantitative data of the study were analyzed by t test while the qualitative data were analyzed by content analysis. It was determined that home-based interactive book-reading method significantly improves emotion understanding of 48-60 months old children who do not attend preschool education. The qualitative findings support the quantitative findings. Accordingly, the mothers in the experimental group expressed that interactive book-reading was positively reflected on the children's learning emotion expressions, expressing their emotions and understanding others' emotions.
The purpose of this small-scale case study was to identify and analyze key patterns in terms of gender representation in children’s books in one early childhood setting. Furthermore, this case study sought to understand the perspectives of early childhood educators on gender representation in children’s books. The researcher employed multiple methods of data collection, including content analysis of 15 children’s books, as well as reflective journal writing and professional conversation between eight educators from one early childhood center in Dublin, Ireland. Content analysis of children’s books revealed distinct gender patterns that include underrepresentation of female characters and instances of gender stereotyping. Further findings indicate that educators exhibit a lack of awareness of gender patterns and attribute limited importance to gender representation in children’s books. This research hopes to aid early childhood educators in becoming aware of gender stereotyping in children’s books, enhancing observation and reflective skills, and creating a more inclusive learning environment.
This study uses data from an evaluation of an early intervention programme, Preparing for Life, to estimate the impact of book gifting on shared reading during infancy and the association between reading and later development. Participants were randomised during pregnancy to a high intensity intervention group, receiving mentoring and book packs (n = 78), and a low intensity intervention group, receiving book packs only (n = 80). A no-intervention comparison group were allocated using non-random assignment (n = 78). At 6 and 12 months both the high and low intensity groups were more likely to read to their infant a few times per week or daily than the comparison group. The intervention groups did not differ statistically on reading frequency. Daily reading at 6 months predicted higher vocabulary comprehension and production, cognition, and socioemotional competence at 12 months. Book gifting may offer an efficient means of reading promotion in disadvantaged communities.
Although gender-role stereotyping in children’s books is a consistent focus of research, the study of the gender role stereotyping
of parenting in particular is less common, despite a developing academic interest in the changing social meanings of fathering
and mothering in contemporary societies. Previous analysis has suggested that fathers are under-represented in children’s
books and when present, are less likely than mothers to be featured expressing affection towards, or caring for, children.
This paper reports the results of a content analysis of a sample of best-selling young children’s picturebooks in the UK which
feature representations of parents. It was predicted that fathers would feature less often, particularly at home, and be less
likely to be depicted sharing physical contact with other family members, involved in domestic chores or childcare activity,
or expressing emotion. The results upheld a number of the hypotheses, indicating that fathers remain ‘invisible’ in an important
sense. However scenes featuring fathers with children, some forms of physical contact, or caring for children were not significantly
less likely to feature in these picturebooks than equivalent scenes featuring mothers; perhaps reflecting a more progressive
portrayal of ‘involved’ fatherhood. The findings are discussed in terms of their methodological, social, and political implications.
KeywordsChildren’s literature–Fathers–Gender stereotypes–Mothers–Parents–Picturebooks
The current research consisted of two studies examining the effects of reading physical and relational aggression in literature. In both studies, participants read one of two stories (containing physical or relational aggression), and then participated in one of two tasks to measure aggression. In Study 1, participants who read the physical aggression story were subsequently more physically aggressive than those who read the relational aggression story. Conversely, in Study 2, participants who read the relational aggression story were subsequently more relationally aggressive than those who read the physical aggression story. Combined, these results show evidence for specific effects of reading aggressive content in literature.
The present study examined the narrative styles of Spanish-speaking Peruvian and English-speaking U.S. American, college-educated mothers as they shared a wordless book with their three-year old children. Results show two distinct book reading narrative styles: Storytellers, who act as the sole narrator of an engaging story with minimal child participation, and storybuilders, who co-construct the story with their young children. The two maternal styles are discussed in relation to possible differences in conceptions of oral narrative and of the roles narrator and audience play in the construction of a story. Results of the present study have implications for literacy intervention programs in culturally diverse populations.
The current review is a quantitative meta-analysis ofthe available empirical evidence related to parent-preschooler reading and several outcome mea- sures. In selecting the studies to be included in this meta-analysis, we focused on studies examining thefrequency ofbook reading to preschoolers. The results support the hypothesis that parent-preschooler reading is related to outcome measures such äs language growth, emergent literacy, and reading achievement. The overall effect size ofd = .59 indicates that book reading explains about 8% of the variance in the outcome measures. The results support the hypothesis that book reading, in particular, ajfects acqui- sition of the written language register. The effect of parent-presch ooler reading is not dependent on the socioeconomic Status of the families or on several methodological differences between the studies. However, the effect seems to become smaller äs soon äs children become conventional readers and are able to read on their own.
This study examined the degree to which parental contextual factors and infant characteristics predicted whether parents read aloud to their 8-month-old infants. Discriminant function analysis revealed that mothers with higher family incomes and those who reported less parenting stress and fewer general hassles were more likely to read to their infants. Gender and temperament of the infant did not significantly predict whether mothers would engage in shared reading. Furthermore, there was no evidence that mothers who reported reading aloud to their infants display more enriching parenting practices in the laboratory. Paternal contextual factors did not discriminate readers from nonreaders, but infant temperament did. Fathers who read aloud had infants who were less soothable and who displayed longer durations of orienting. The possibility that book reading could serve as 1 mediator of the temperament-cognition relationship is discussed.
The current review is a quantitative meta-analysis of the available empirical evidence related to parent-preschooler reading and several outcome measures. In selecting the studies to be included in this meta-analysis, we focused on studies examining the frequency of book reading to preschoolers. The results support the hypothesis that parent-preschooler reading is related to outcome measures such as language growth, emergent literacy, and reading achievement. The overall effect size of d = .59 indicates that book reading explains about 8% of the variance in the outcome measures. The results support the hypothesis that book reading, in particular, affects acquisition of the written language register. The effect of parent-preschooler reading is not dependent on the socioeconomic status of the families or on several methodological differences between the studies. However, the effect seems to become smaller as soon as children become conventional readers and are able to read on their own.
This research documents changes in the ways mothers communicate with their Infants during the last year of infancy. Mothers were observed playing with their infants using a two-cohort longitudinal design. Recorded were how often mothers performed communicative acts and whether these acts marked objects or the mothers themselves in a literal or conventionalized manner. Our results suggest that these infants' first experiences with object-oriented communication occurred in a dynamic, responsive environment, one that reflected their development towards more object-oriented, conventionalized communication.
Recent research has documented systematic individual differences in early lexical development. The current study investigated the relation ship of these differences to differences in the way mothers and children regulate each other's attentional states. Mothers of 6 one-year-olds kept diary records and were videotaped with their children at monthly intervals as well. Language measures from the diary were related to measures of attention manipulation and maintenance derived from a coding of the videotaped interactions. Results showed that when mothers initiated interactions by directing their child's attention, rather than by following into it, their child learned fewer object labels and more personal-social words. Dyads who maintained sustained bouts of joint attentional focus had children with larger vocabularies overall. It was concluded that the way mothers and children regulate each other's attention is an important factor in children's early lexical development.
The interactions of 24-, 30-, and 36-month-old children and their mothers reading two initially unfamiliar books were observed three times over a 2-week period. Coding characterized both the content and the role of their utterances as they discussed the stories. Utterance content depended on child age but changed little with increasing story familiarity. Focus on narrative intangibles such as characters' feelings and explanations of actions increased from 24 to 30 months, and the number of children who asked questions about these intangibles also increased with age. In contrast, utterance role depended primarily on story familiarity and varied only slightly with child age. The implications of these findings for the child's emerging narrative competence are discussed.
Reviewed research from 1960 to 1993 pertaining to the hypothesized influence of parent–preschooler reading experiences on the development of language and literacy skills. The literature provides evidence for this association, although the magnitudes of the observed effects have been quite variable within and between samples and, on average, have been unexpectedly modest. Demographic, attitudinal, and skill differences among preschoolers all apparently made stronger direct contributions to prediction in investigations that permitted such comparisons. These findings are discussed with respect to theory and research on literacy acquisition, educational practice, and parental guidance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The purpose of this paper is to synthesize research on picture book reading with young children (i.e., children under the age of 3). In this paper, we review cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intervention reading research and describe changes in both parental and children’s behaviors during picture book reading from birth to age 3. Research related to additional factors that impact picture book reading between parents and their children such as parental characteristics (e.g., socioeconomic status), children’s characteristics (e.g., interest in books), and attachment status is also reviewed. Such factors are proposed to influence the frequency and/or quality of reading interactions and the beneficial outcomes of reading on children’s language development. Throughout the paper, we highlight gaps in the existing literature. From our synthesis, we propose a theoretical framework to guide future research involving reading with young children.
This study evaluated an adaptation of a developmentally based, 6-week parent–child reading program (“dialogic reading”) demonstrated to facilitate vocabulary and syntactic skills of toddlers, including those at risk for language problems. In this study, dialogic reading was modified for broad dissemination through four branches of a city library system. Children's librarians taught parents the reading techniques in two 1-hour sessions. The study design was an efficacy trial with two thirds of families randomly assigned to the dialogic reading condition and one third to a comparison condition. The comparison condition was comprised of existing library services for parents and children . Analysis of baseline to post-test change showed a significant intervention-group effect on parent–child reading style and children's expressive language. In addition, at a 3-month follow-up assessment, parents in the dialogic reading group reported less parenting stress, specifically stress resulting from characteristics of their child.
These observations indicate how the organization of book reading events differs when middle- to upper-class suburban parents read picture books to preverbal and verbal infants. Twelve parent-infant dyads for each group of 9-, 17-, and 27-month-old infants were videotaped in their homes. On each of three visits, two different books were read. The books either contained sentences describing the illustrations or did not contain any sentences. The quality of parent verbalizations changed with the age of the infant; parents reading to younger infants used more attention-recruiting verbalizations and more elaborations, whereas parents reading to older infants used more questions and more feedback. Analyses of sequential dependencies between categories of behaviors suggest that, across these age groups, parents monitor and attempt to maximize their infants' attention to the book. Parents' verbalizations expand from labeling comments, to sequences of labeling questions, to dialogues that exercise the growing linguistic competencies of the infant. Finally, interactions with books containing no sentences led to more verbal behaviors by the parent and more vocalizations by the infant.
This study investigated whether shared parent–infant book reading at 4 and 8 months would be associated with subsequent language abilities at 12 and 16 months. Parents of 87 typically developing middle-class infants reported on the presence or absence of shared reading in the home; infant language abilities were measured through laboratory assessment and parent report. Results indicated that shared reading at 8 months was related to 12-month language abilities (particularly for girls) and 16-month language abilities over and above 12-month language scores. Moreover, there was a statistically significant effect of shared reading on expressive language but not on receptive language. Reading at 4 months was not significantly related to later language. Findings support the efficacy of reading to 8-month-old infants. Furthermore, relationships between shared reading and later language might depend on the genders of the parent and the infant. More research is needed to clarify what parents say and do when reading to pre-verbal infants.
The relations between home literacy environment and child language ability were examined for 323 4-year-olds attending Head Start and their mothers or primary caregivers. Overall frequency of shared picture book reading, age of onset of picture book reading, duration of shared picture book reading during one recent day, number of picture books in the home, frequency of child's requests to engage in shared picture book reading, frequency of child's private play with books, frequency of shared trips to the library, frequency of caregiver's private reading, and caregiver's enjoyment of private reading constituted the literacy environment, and were measured using a questionnaire completed by each child's primary caregiver. Using a primary subsample of 236 children, a composite literacy environment score was derived from the literacy environment measures and was correlated with a composite child language measure, derived from two standardized tests of language skills. Depending on the form of regression analysis employed and depending on whether primary caregiver IQ and education were entered into the prediction equations, from 12% to 18.5% of the variance in child language scores was accounted for by home literacy environment. These analyses were cross-validated on a secondary subsample of 87 children with similar results. The strength of the relations between home literacy environment and child language are stronger in this study than in previous research, due to the use of statistically derived aggregate measures of literacy environment. The presence of substantial variability in home literacy environments in low-income families, and the substantial relations between these environments and child language outcomes has important implications for intervention.
Children’s early interest in shared reading is thought to be important to later reading achievement. However, influences on such interest have not been adequately studied. The present study evaluated whether parents can affect their children’s interest in shared reading, using a multimethod assessment. Twenty-five parents and their preschool-aged children were randomly assigned to either an intervention group or an attention-control group. Parents in the interest intervention group learned strategies thought to be important to fostering interest in shared reading. After one week, children in the intervention group were more interested in shared reading compared to children in the attention-control group. After four weeks, intervention parents still reported increased child interest, though direct observations suggested somewhat diminished effects. These results provide a rare experimental evaluation of parental influence on interest, and suggest potential value in further developing interest interventions.
This study focuses on parent-child book reading and its connection to the development of a theory of mind. First, parents were asked to report about frequency of parent-child storybook reading at home. Second, mothers were asked to read four picture-books to thirty-four children between 4;0 and 5;0. Both frequency of parent-child storybook reading at home, and mother's use of mental state terms in picture-books reading tasks were significantly associated with success on false belief tasks, after partialling out a number of potential mediators such as age of children, verbal IQ, paternal education, and words used by mothers in joint picture-book reading. Among the different mental state references (cognitive terms, desires, emotions and perceptions), it was found that the frequency and variety of cognitive terms, but also the frequency of emotional terms correlated positively with children's false belief performance. Relationships between mental state language and theory of mind are discussed.
Two studies were conducted to determine the extent to which young children fixate on the print of storybooks during shared book reading. Children's books varying in the layout of the print and the richness of the illustrations were displayed on a computer monitor. Each child's mother or preschool teacher read the books while the child sat on the adult's lap wearing an EyeLink headband that recorded visual fixations. In both studies, children spent very little time examining the print regardless of the nature of the print and illustrations. Although fixations on the illustrations were highly correlated with the length of the accompanying text and could be altered by altering the content of the text, fixations to the text were uncorrelated with the length of the text. These results indicate that preschool children engage in minimal exploration of the print during shared book reading.
About half of 2,581 low-income mothers reported reading daily to their children. At 14 months, the odds of reading daily increased by the child being firstborn or female. At 24 and 36 months, these odds increased by maternal verbal ability or education and by the child being firstborn or of Early Head Start status. White mothers read more than did Hispanic or African American mothers. For English-speaking children, concurrent reading was associated with vocabulary and comprehension at 14 months, and with vocabulary and cognitive development at 24 months. A pattern of daily reading over the 3 data points for English-speaking children and daily reading at any 1 data point for Spanish-speaking children predicted children's language and cognition at 36 months. Path analyses suggest reciprocal and snowballing relations between maternal bookreading and children's vocabulary.
Whereas many studies have investigated quantitative aspects of book reading (frequency), few have examined qualitative aspects, especially in very young children and through direct observations of shared reading.
The purpose of this study was to determine possible differences in book-reading styles between mothers and fathers and between mothers from single- and dual-parent families. It also related types of parental verbalizations during book reading to children's reported language measures.
Dual-parent (29) and single-parent (24) families were observed in shared book reading with their toddlers (15-month-olds) or young preschoolers (27-month-olds).
Parent-child dyads were videotaped while book reading. The initiator of each book-reading episode was coded. Parents' verbalizations were exhaustively coded into 10 categories. Mothers completed the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory, and the children were given the Bayley scales.
All parents differentiated their verbalizations according to the age rather than the gender of the child, but single mothers imitated female children more than males. Few differences in verbalizations were found between mothers and fathers or between mothers from single- and dual-parent families. Fathers allowed younger children to initiate book-reading episodes more than mothers. For both age groups of children, combined across families, verbalizations that related the book to the child's experience were correlated with reported language measures. Questions and imitations were related to language measures for the older age group.
The important types of parental verbalizations during shared book reading for children's language acquisition are relating, questions and imitations.