31 SES 08, New Developments In Home Literacy Environment Research: Relationships with Reading Enjoyment, Parental Literacy Beliefs, and the Impact of New Media
Parents play a crucial role in children’s early literacy development. By engaging in literacy-related interactions with their children, parents provide them with opportunities to use and acquire early literacy skills (Burgess, Hecht, & Lonigan, 2002). However, parents vary in the frequency and type of literacy activities they undertake with their children (Philips & Lonigan, 2009; Van Steensel, 2006).This variation in the home literacy environment (HLE) seems to be a crucial factor in explaining differences in young children’s literacy development. The Home Literacy Model (HLM) (Sénéchal & LeFevre, 2002; Sénéchal, 2006) distinguishes two types of literacy activities, shared reading and parent teaching of literacy skills, claiming that both types of activities are differentially related to different aspects of children’s literacy skills. Previous research has shown that the frequency with which parents engage their children in such different activities is governed by their beliefs: parents with ‘holistic’ views on the literacy development of their children (early literacy skills are acquired in daily interaction with the environment) undertook more ‘informal’ language activities such as shared reading, whereas parents with a ‘skills-based’ perspective (early literacy skills are acquired by being taught specific skills) engaged more frequently in formal language activities such as parent teaching (Lynch, Anderson, Anderson, & Shapiro, 2006; Stipek, Millburn, Clements, & Daniels, 1992). So far, such beliefs have not been incorporated in the HLM, however. The aim of this correlational study is to further test and extend the HLM, by answering the following research question: what associations exist between parental literacy beliefs, parent-child literacy activities and children’s literacy skills? We examined this question on the basis of a sample of 215 four-year-olds with diverse demographic backgrounds and their parents. Information about the HLE and parental literacy beliefs were gathered using a parent questionnaire. Children’s literacy skills were assessed individually using standardized tests. Structural equation modeling techniques will be applied to answer the research question. We will test whether the afore-mentioned types of parental literacy beliefs, holistic and skills-based, are validated by our data and, if so, whether these are differentially related to informal and formal literacy activities in the home. Additionally, we will examine direct and indirect relations between beliefs, parental behavior, and children’s literacy skills. The results will increase our understanding of which factors in the HLE are significant in promoting young children’s literacy skills.
Burgess, S. R., Hecht, S. A., & Lonigan, C. J. (2002). Relations of the home literacy environment (HLE) to the development of reading‐related abilities: A one‐year longitudinal study. Reading Research Quarterly, 37(4), 408-426. Lynch, J., Anderson, J., Anderson, A., & Shapiro, J. (2006). Parents' beliefs about young children's literacy development and parents' literacy behaviors. Reading Psychology, 27(1), 1-20. Phillips, B. M., & Lonigan, C. J. (2009). Variations in the home literacy environment of preschool children: A cluster analytic approach. Scientific Studies of Reading, 13(2), 146-174. Sénéchal, M. (2006). Testing the home literacy model: Parent involvement in kindergarten is differentially related to grade 4 reading comprehension, fluency, spelling, and reading for pleasure. Scientific Studies of Reading, 10(1), 59-87. Sénéchal, M., & LeFevre, J. A. (2002). Parental involvement in the development of children’s reading skill: A five‐year longitudinal study. Child Development, 73(2), 445-460. Stipek, D., Milburn, S., Clements, D., & Daniels, D. H. (1992). Parents' beliefs about appropriate education for young children. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 13(3), 293-310 Van Steensel, R. (2006). Relations between socio‐cultural factors, the home literacy environment and children's literacy development in the first years of primary education. Journal of Research in Reading, 29(4), 367-382.
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