31 SES 08, New Developments In Home Literacy Environment Research: Relationships with Reading Enjoyment, Parental Literacy Beliefs, and the Impact of New Media
The development of children’s early literacy skills partly depends on the extent to which they engage in literacy-related activities at home. There is quite some research on the relationship between children’s home literacy environments (HLE) and their literacy development. Often, such studies take a limited perspective, operationalizing the HLE as the frequency of shared reading or number of books at home. Studies taking a broader perspective (Burgess et al., 2002; Van Steensel, 2006; Wood, 2002) still departed from a traditional view on literacy, focusing on ‘old media’. Nowadays, children are frequently exposed to literacy through digital devices. It can thus be argued that for a valid measurement of the HLE, questionnaires should be extended to include media such as these. We present the results of a validation study on a new questionnaire starting from a broad HLE conceptualization, based on a ‘facet design’. We distinguished three facets: medium (including the distinction old/new media), function (social, information, pleasure/self-expression), and participants (child, parent/caretaker, brothers/sisters), leading to questions of the type: How often does your child read or look in books for pleasure with parents/caretakers? The ultimate aim of the questionnaire is to identify patterns of literacy/media use, particularly in the form of family profiles, that can be related to family characteristics as well as children’s language and literacy abilities. We aim to answer the following research questions: 1/How frequently do children engage in activities according to the different facets (medium/function/participants)? 2/Can different family literacy/media profiles be distinguished? 3/Are these family profiles related to family background characteristics (SES/ethnicity)? 4/Are these profiles related to children’s language and literacy abilities? We distributed the questionnaire among the families of children in kindergarten and Grades 1-2 of ten primary schools. It was filled in by about 600 families. Additionally, we collected children’s scores on a number of school-administered language and literacy tests (vocabulary, decoding, reading comprehension). Based on previous research (Van Kruistum et al., 2014) we might expect to find different family types, such as those taking a traditionalist approach (clinging to ‘old’ media in interactions with children), infrequent media users (using few media overall), and ‘omnivores’ (frequently using both old and new media). Using cluster analysis we explore the possible existence of such profiles and relate these to background characteristics and test outcomes through logistic regression analyses and multilevel regression analyses, respectively.
Burgess, S., Hecht, S., & Lonigan, C. (2002). Relations of the home literacy environment (HLE) to the development of reading-related abilities: A one-year longitudinal study. Reading Research Quarterly, 37, 408-426. Van Kruistum, C. J., Leseman, P. P. M., & De Haan, M. (2014). Youth Media Lifestyles. Human Communication Research, 40(4), 508-529. 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. Wood, C. (2002). Parent–child pre-school activities can affect the development of literacy skills.Journal of Research in Reading, 25(3), 241–258.
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