The Role of Home Literacy Practices in Preschool Children's Language and Emergent Literacy Skills This study examined how 4 specific measures of home literacy practices (i.e., shared book reading frequency, maternal book reading strategies, child's enjoyment of reading, and maternal sensitivity) and a global measure of the quality and responsiveness of the home environment during the preschool years predicted children's language and emergent literacy ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2005
The Role of Home Literacy Practices in Preschool Children's Language and Emergent Literacy Skills
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joanne Roberts
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Julia Jergens
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Margaret Burchinal
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Contact author: Joanne E. Roberts, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 105 Smith Level Road, CB# 8180, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8180. E-mail: joanne_roberts@unc.edu
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2005
The Role of Home Literacy Practices in Preschool Children's Language and Emergent Literacy Skills
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2005, Vol. 48, 345-359. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/024)
History: Received April 26, 2004 , Accepted June 21, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2005, Vol. 48, 345-359. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/024)
History: Received April 26, 2004; Accepted June 21, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 135

This study examined how 4 specific measures of home literacy practices (i.e., shared book reading frequency, maternal book reading strategies, child's enjoyment of reading, and maternal sensitivity) and a global measure of the quality and responsiveness of the home environment during the preschool years predicted children's language and emergent literacy skills between the ages of 3 and 5 years. Study participants were 72 African American children and their mothers or primary guardians primarily from low-income families whose home literacy environment and development have been followed since infancy. Annually, between 18 months and 5 years of age, the children's mothers were interviewed about the frequency they read to their child and how much their child enjoyed being read to, and the overall quality and responsiveness of the home environment were observed. Mothers also were observed reading to their child once a year at 2, 3, and 4 years of age, and maternal sensitivity and types of maternal book reading strategies were coded. Children's receptive and expressive language and vocabulary were assessed annually between 3 years of age and kindergarten entry, and emergent literacy skills were assessed at 4 years and kindergarten entry. The specific home literacy practices showed moderate to large correlations with each other, and only a few significant associations with the language and literacy outcomes, after controlling for maternal education, maternal reading skills, and the child's gender. The global measure of overall responsiveness and support of the home environment was the strongest predictor of children's language and early literacy skills and contributed over and above the specific literacy practice measures in predicting children's early language and literacy development.

Acknowledgments
The data collection and analysis for this research have been supported by the National Institutes of Health (Grant 01 R01-CD03817-01A1), Maternal and Child Health Program (Grants MCJ-370599, MCJ-370649, and 1 R40 MC 00343 Title V, Social Security Act), Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Spencer Foundation. We are grateful to Eloise Neebe for the data analyses, Susan Zeisel for the data collection and coding, Janet McClelland for her book reading coding, and Sarah Henderson and Anne Taylor for assistance with manuscript preparation.
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