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The home environments and emergent literacy skills among children in a Hawaiian community on Kauaʻi

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Item Summary

Title: The home environments and emergent literacy skills among children in a Hawaiian community on Kauaʻi
Authors: Hee, Puanani Jennifer
Keywords: emergent literacy
home literacy environment
family background
parenting stress
Issue Date: Dec 2014
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2014]
Abstract: Abundant studies conducted with monoracial Caucasian and minority families have shown that home environments play an important role in the success or difficulty children experience when they begin formal schooling. However, little is known about the home environment of multiethnic and Hawaiian families. The current study examined variations in home environment, including family background, the home literacy environment, and parenting stress in relation to emergent literacy skills (i.e., print knowledge, definitional vocabulary, and phonological awareness) in multiethnic Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian kindergarten children. Participants were 120 (58 girls, 62 boys) children (Mage = 59.79 months; SD = 5.00) recruited from two schools with a high Hawaiian/part-Hawaiian student ratio (51.9% and 31.5% at each school) on Kaua'i. About 59% of the total sample was at least part-Hawaiian. Caregivers completed questionnaires about their family background, parenting stress, and home literacy environment, and children's emergent literacy was assessed by trained research assistants prior to or at the start of kindergarten. Results of correlation analyses revealed that parent literacy involvement and their own literacy habits were positively related to all three aspects of emergent literacy, while home literacy resources was positively related to children's print knowledge and definitional vocabulary. Parenting stress was negatively correlated with children's definitional vocabulary. However, the significant relations between home environment variables and children's emergent literacy skills diminished in the hierarchical regression analyses, after controlling for parents' education, children's ethnic background (Hawaiian versus non-Hawaiian), preschool attendance, and the use of Pidgin English at home. Among the control variables, preschool attendance was positively associated with all three aspects of emergent literacy skills and parents' averaged education was related to children's definitional vocabulary and phonological awareness. In addition, non-Hawaiian children had higher scores in print knowledge than their Hawaiian peers. The frequency of Pidgin use in the home was positively related to definitional vocabulary, possibly a statistical artifact or suppressor effect. Two significant interactions were also found between ethnicity and home literacy resources and between ethnicity and parents' literacy environment, on children's phonological awareness. Future studies should continue to explore the role of the home literacy environment and parenting stress on children from a Hawaiian cultural community with a larger sample size and should examine how culturally relevant practices at home might influence the development of children's emergent literacy skills.
Description: M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:M.A. - Psychology

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