Early parental influences on beginning reading in preschool aged children : implications for a cognitive framework

Kunimitsu, Vivian Yoshie
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The purpose of this study is to identify specific, observable parental behaviors that are related to observable child behaviors which have been found to be predictors of later reading achievement. Eleven parental behaviors were selected which formed a posited cognitive framework of three major clusters: I. Begins at the child's developmental level, II. Emphasizes material that is associated with the known and comprehensible language of the child that is concrete and experience-based, III. Involves the child and therefore the child perceives the relevance and purpose of the reading task. The sample consisted of 60 3½- to 4½-year-old male and female children and. their mothers. The independent variables were the 11 parental behaviors assessed by a behavioral code for use with tape recordings of mother/child reading episodes taken in the homes. Background information was collected from mothers using an interview schedule. The dependent variables consisted of children1s performance on three predictors of reading achievement--Alphabet Name Inventory, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Whole Word Recognition Test. An overlapping schedule for the coding was used by the investigator and a naive coder, and for the testing, by two naive testers. Rating reliabilities to estimate reliability of the means of the various judges were: alphabet recognition test = .98, Peabody vocabulary test = .85, cluster I = .75, cluster II = 1.0, cluster III = .76. Multiple regression analyses of the three clusters of the cognitive framework and each of the dependent variables resulted in a significant multiple R of .41 for the three clusters with the alphabet recognition test: F = 3.76 (df, 3/56, p<.. 05); R2 = .16. Stepwise regression of the three clusters with ,the alphabet recognition test revealed cluster III as the major cluster: R = .28; F = 4.93 (df, 1/58; p<.05). Three parental behaviors were predicted as behaviors of major importance: (1) use of words and/or written material which have considerable meaning to the child and which are related to recent or continuous experiences, (2) provision of rationale and information to child about the meaning of written material, (3) use of questions about content of written material in order to elicit verbalization from child. Only the latter two emerged as the result of additional stepwise regression analysis on the individual behaviors of clusters II and III. These two behaviors with the vocabulary test yielded an R of .33, F = 3.63 (df, 2/57; p<.05), R2 = .11. Another behavior of cluster III--provision of reading and writing materials and instructions in their use--together with the use of questions about content to elicit verbalization, yield significant R's with both the alphabet recognition and vocabulary tests. Stepwise regression of 16 variables from the parent interview data revealed significant contributions of several variables that were consistent with the significant behaviors of clusters II and III described above. Results are consistent with Flood's (1977) study on parental styles in reading episodes and Durkin's (1966) investigation on early readers. In addition, this study provides a finer-grained analysis of parental behaviors and a theoretical base which links the parental behaviors of the posited cognitive framework of reading acquisition with child behaviors on the measures of predicted reading achievement.
Photocopy of typescript.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1979.
Bibliography: leaves [164]-176.
x, 176 leaves 29 cm
Reading (Preschool), Parent and child
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Psychology; no. 1305
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