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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The home backgrounds of writers Weathermon, Clifford Jack 1984

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C.  THE HOME BACKGROUNDS OF WRITERS  by  CLIFFORD JACK WEATHERMON B. A. i n E d u c a t i o n , Western Washington S t a t e C o l l e g e , 197^ A THESIS SUBMITTED  IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF, :  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY.OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Language E d u c a t i o n Department) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as  conforming  t o the r e q u i r e d standard  J , F, Belanger  •S, J . B u t l e r  M. Crowhurst  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA February ©  Clifford  198** ... .  Jack Weathermon, 1984  i  In  presenting  requirements  this for  British  it  freely available  for  that  Columbia,  for  partial  7Q \  copying  or p u b l i c a t i o n  shall  not  shall I  of  Columbia  make  further this  thesis  by t h e h e a d o f my of  It  this  be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t  of  the  University  or her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s .  The. U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5  Date  the  the L i b r a r y  extensive  permission.  Department  at  may be g r a n t e d  copying  gain  that  f u l f i l m e n t of  r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y .  for  purposes  that  financial  agree  for  d e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s understood  I  permission  scholarly  in  an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e  of  agree  thesis  is thesis my w r i t t e n  Abstract T h i s study of  i n v e s t i g a t e s whether or not some c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  students home environments a r e a s s o c i a t e d with w r i t i n g  skill.  A sample of 160 grade s i x and seven students who  were judged by t h e i r teachers as more e f f e c t i v e or l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s was s e l e c t e d from f o u r elementary  schools  i n a l a r g e B r i t i s h Columbia I n t e r i o r School D i s t r i c t .  The  parents of students i n the sample were asked t o complete a q u e s t i o n n a i r e concerning the home s i t u a t i o n and experiences of  their children.  As a way of g a t h e r i n g other  important  i n f o r m a t i o n , a s t r a t i f i e d random sample o f t e n parents was s e l e c t e d from the l a r g e r sample t o be i n t e r v i e w e d concerning other aspects of t h e i r home s i t u a t i o n s . r e s u l t s were presented percentages  Questionnaire  i n t a b u l a r form w i t h f r e q u e n c i e s and  r e p o r t e d f o r the responses  D i f f e r e n c e s between the responses e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and responses w r i t e r s were then analyzed Smirnov Two-Sample t e s t .  o f both  groups.  from parents o f more  from parents of l e s s  effective  f o r s i g n i f i c a n c e by a KolmogorovT h i s study suggests t h a t a good  environment f o r an a s p i r i n g young w r i t e r would be a home i n which 1)  r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s take p l a c e  r e g u l a r l y and are o f t e n d i s c u s s e d , 2) parents and s i b l i n g s r e g u l a r l y model language s k i l l s  and have p o s i t i v e  toward the a c q u i s i t i o n o f these s k i l l s  attitudes  3) the e d u c a t i o n a l  l e v e l and o c c u p a t i o n a l s k i l l l e v e l o f parents are h i g h and  ii  r e a d i n g and k)  a portion  quiet,  writing materials of the w r i t e r ' s  are r e a d i l y a c c e s s i b l e ;  l e i s u r e time i s devoted to  indoor, c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t i e s  w r i t i n g while e x c l u d i n g  including reading  l a r g e amounts of t e l e v i s i o n  viewing.  iii  and  and  TABLE OF CONTENTS I  II  THE PROBLEM  1  A.  Background o f the Problem  1  1.  Reading and W r i t i n g A c t i v i t i e s  1  2.  Home Background I n f o r m a t i o n  3  3.  Leisure-Time A c t i v i t i e s  3  4.  P a r e n t a l Opinions  4  5.  Summary o f Background  5  B. ' Overview o f Procedures  5  C.  D e f i n i t i o n o f Terms  6  D.  Questions .  7  E.  Assumptions  6  F.  Limitations  6  G.  S i g n i f i c a n c e o f the Study  9  H.  Organization  o f the Study  10  RELATED RESEARCH  12  A.  Language Models  13  B.  P a r e n t - C h i l d I n t e r a c t i o n Concerning Reading and W r i t i n g A c t i v i t i e s  14  C.  D e s c r i p t i o n o f C h i l d r e n ' s Reading and 15  W r i t i n g Behaviors D.  Socio-economic F a c t o r s  ....<,  E.  Home C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  18  F.  Children's C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  20  G.  Leisure A c t i v i t i e s  22  of Children iv  16  III  H.  Parent Opinions  I.  Survey Methods  J.  Interview Methods  K.  Summary  3 0  METHODOLOGY  3 4  A.  D e s c r i p t i o n of the Study  3 4  B.  T i m e l i n e f o r the Study  3  C.  Sample  3 6  D.  Q u e s t i o n n a i r e Development  3 7  E.  P i l o t i n g of the Q u e s t i o n n a i r e  3 7  F.  Method of Q u e s t i o n n a i r e A d m i n i s t r a t i o n  3 9  G.  Interview Development and P i l o t i n g  40  H.  Method of Interview A d m i n i s t r a t i o n  42  I.  Rationale  J.  and A t t i t u d e s  24 2  5  . t . . 28  5  4  3  Topic 1 :  Reading and W r i t i n g A c t i v i t i e s 4  3  Topic 2:  Home Background Information  4  Topic 3 '  Leisure-Time  Topic 4 :  Parents*  Activities  Opinions  ..  4 7 48 5 0  Data O r g a n i z a t i o n J  K. IV  S t a t i s t i c a l Treatments  5 2  RESULTS  5 4  A.  5 4  Introduction  v  5  1.  Significant Variables  5  2.  V a r i a b l e s Which Significance  5 5  3. 4. B.  Approached  V a r i a b l e s Which Were Not S i g n i f i c a n t but i n the Hypothesized D i r e c t i o n  5 5  V a r i a b l e s on Which There Was L i t t l e Difference  5 9  Reading and W r i t i n g A c t i v i t i e s  6 0  1.  P a r e n t s ' L e t t e r W r i t i n g Habits  6 1  2.  Mothers*  3.  Parent Response t o W r i t t e n Work Which  Home and Work W r i t i n g H a b i t s ... 6j  6 5  Was Brought Home  C.  ^  4.  S t u d e n t s ' L e i s u r e Time W r i t i n g H a b i t s ...  5.  S t u d e n t s ' E a r l y P r i n t i n g and  6 8  Reading E x p e r i e n c e s  6 9  6.  S t u d e n t s ' Homework H a b i t s  7 7  7.  W r i t i n g Help Given by Parents  8 0  8.  Reading t o C h i l d r e n Which i s Done  9.  by Parents P a r e n t - C h i l d D i s c u s s i o n s Concerning Reading & T e l e v i s i o n Viewing  0. 8 3 8 6  Home Background Information  8 7  1.  Books and Chalkboards  8 8  2.  Mothers' Work Outside the Home  3.  The Absence o f N a t u r a l Parents from  i n the Home  9 1  the Home  9 4  4.  L e v e l of Parental Education  9 4  5.  P a r e n t a l Occupation  9 7  vi  D.  E.  F.  G. V  Leisure A c t i v i t i e s  100  1.  Students'  T e l e v i s i o n Viewing  100  2.  Students'  Solitary  103  Activities  P a r e n t a l Opinions  108  1.  Students'  Interest  in School  2.  Parental Satisfaction with Instruction  109  School 109  3.  "Ideal  Parent" Variables  4.  "Children Should" Variables  113 117  Other V a r i a b l e s  121  1.  Sex  121  Summary  122  SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION  126  A.  Summary  126  B.  Discussion  C.  Profiles  D.  of Results and I m p l i c a t i o n s  of W r i t e r s  ..,  and T h e i r  132  Family  Members  148  Epilogue  152  REFERENCES  155  APPENDICES  161  A p p e n d i x A:  W r i t e r s ' Home B a c k g r o u n d Q u e s t i o n n a i r e and D i r e c t i o n s f o r Completion  161  A p p e n d i x B:  Covering L e t t e r to Parents  171  A p p e n d i x C:  Interviewee  A p p e n d i x D:  I n t e r v i e w Agenda  A p p e n d i x Es  The Home and Work W r i t i n g o f Mothers vii  ....  Letters  173 175 Habits 179  Appendix Ft  Appendix G: Appendix H: Appendix I: Appendix J ;  Parents* Other Attempts to Teach P r i n t i n g t o t h e i r Preschool Children  184  The Occupations of Mothers and F a t h e r s  186  Table 30s R e s t r i c t i o n s on the T e l e v i s i o n Viewing o f C h i l d r e n  190  U n s o l i c i t e d Questionnaire Comments o f Parents  194  G u i d e l i n e s to Teachers f o r S e l e c t i n g More E f f e c t i v e W r i t e r s and Less E f f e c t i v e Writers  201  viii  LIST OF TABLES Table No. 1 2  Title The l e t t e r w r i t i n g frequency mothers  Page of  The home and work w r i t i n g h a b i t s of mothers  6 2 64  3  The frequency w i t h which marked assignments are seen by parents  6 6  4  The responses of parents t o the marked assignments of t h e i r c h i l d r e n .......  6 7  5  The frequency of w r i t i n g d u r i n g the l e i s u r e time of c h i l d r e n  7 0  6  The s k i l l i n p r i n t i n g which c h i l d r e n possessed upon grade one e n t r y  7 1  7  The r e p o r t e d ages of i n i t i a l i n l e a r n i n g how t o p r i n t  7 2  interest  8  The order i n which c h i l d r e n l e a r n e d the s k i l l s of p r i n t i n g and r e a d i n g ..  7 3  9  The frequency with which c h i l d r e n worked on homework assignments ......  7 7  The amount of time spent on homework assignments by c h i l d r e n d u r i n g each s e s s i o n of work  7 8  10  11  The frequency with which h e l p on w r i t t e n assignments was g i v e n by parents  81  12  The frequency with which parents read aloud t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n  8 5  13  The frequency with which chalkboards were found i n the homes of respondents  8 9  The number of books f o r c h i l d r e n i n the homes of respondents  9 0  14  ix  Table No.  Title  Page  15  The frequency with which mothers r e p o r t e d working outside the home...  92  16  The h i g h e s t l e v e l of s c h o o l a t t a i n e d by mothers  96  The h i g h e s t l e v e l of s c h o o l a t t a i n e d by f a t h e r s  96  The o c c u p a t i o n a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s jobs h e l d by mothers  of 98  The o c c u p a t i o n a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s jobs h e l d by f a t h e r s  of  17 18 19 20  The frequency by c h i l d r e n  21 22 23  /  of t e l e v i s i o n  98  viewing 101  The frequency of r e s t r i c t i o n s on the t e l e v i s i o n viewing of c h i l d r e n .....  102  The frequency with which c h i l d r e n chose f i v e " s o l i t a r y " a c t i v i t i e s ...  105  The frequency with which c h i l d r e n played alone  107  24  The amount of i n t e r e s t c h i l d r e n were r e p o r t e d t o have i n s c h o o l  110  25  The opinions of parents about r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the s c h o o l s  112  The amount of agreement expressed by parents with the statements t h a t the i d e a l parent should J  114  27  P a r e n t s ' agreement w i t h f o u r a c t i v i t i e s c h i l d r e n should or should not do ...  118  28  The amount of agreement expressed by parents with the statements nowadays c h i l d r e n such as my c h i l d s h o u l d : . . .  120  Q u e s t i o n n a i r e respondents sex  122  26  29 30  R e s t r i c t i o n s on the v i e w i n g of c h i l d r e n x  grouped by  television 190  CHAPTER The p u r p o s e or not  with writing  questionnaire students  "less  of t h i s  about  group  questionnaire sampling  t h e i r home s i t u a t i o n s  parents  see  as  if  by use  The d a t a  of  of  from b o t h s o u r c e s existed  writers  or l e s s  Questions designed  to  included  materials,  leisure-time  and p a r e n t a l  1. Little activities  random was  then  between t h e effective  In  this  of  and home  way,  answers  Activities  students  1  events  writing  questions.  known a b o u t w h i c h r e a d i n g  i n t h e homes  and  were  o f b o t h c h i l d r e n and  four research  and W r i t i n g  survey  reading  household  activities  opinions.  the  Reading is  i n the  i n f o r m a t i o n about  i n t h e home, r e g u l a r  c o u l d be f o u n d f o r  with  writers.  activities  parents,  or  PROBLEM  w h i c h were  gather  parents  Additional  a stratified  o f home e n v i r o n m e n t and e i t h e r more  BACKGROUND OF THE  a  interviews  factors  A.  are  s e l e c t e d from the  any a s s o c i a t i o n s  effective  the  gathered.  use  who were  to  whether  "more e f f e c t i v e "  d a t a was  respondents  technique.  analyzed to  determine  By d i s t r i b u t i n g  c o l l e c t e d by t h e  of  to  o f home e n v i r o n m e n t  who were c l a s s i f i e d  i n f o r m a t i o n was  PROBLEM  was  skill.  effective" writers,  a small  THE  study  some c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  associated  of  ONE:  and  writing  are a s s o c i a t e d  with  2  higher or lower l e v e l s o f s k i l l  in writing.  Consequently,  i n t h i s study, a number o f q u e s t i o n s were designed t o gather i n f o r m a t i o n about r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g i n s t u d e n t s ' homes.  activities  Previous r e s e a r c h has suggested  which of these a c t i v i t i e s may be a s s o c i a t e d with r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g p r o f i c i e n c y . ( 1 9 6 6 )  i n her examination  F o r example, Dolores Durkin o f the home backgrounds o f  e a r l y r e a d e r s and o f those who d i d not read e a r l y  found  the r o l e o f mothers i n the homes o f e a r l y readers t o be singularly  important  i n a f f e c t i n g the e a r l y r e a d i n g  achievement of t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  She s t a t e d that the  c h i l d r e n ' s e a r l y r e a d i n g achievement was i n f l u e n c e d by the mothers' examples and t h e i r concepts o f t h e i r as educators of the p r e s c h o o l c h i l d  (p. 1 3 8 ) •  roles  She a l s o  d e s c r i b e d the homes of e a r l y readers as c h a r a c t e r i z e d by generous amounts o f v e r b a l i n t e r a c t i o n as w e l l as s i g n i f i c a n t amounts o f time b e i n g spent on r e a d i n g and writing a c t i v i t i e s .  Margaret  Clark  ( I 9 7 6 )  found the  homes o f e a r l y r e a d e r s which she i n v e s t i g a t e d c h a r a c t e r i z e d by many of the same q u a l i t i e s t h a t Durkin reported.  Reading and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s were found to  be prominent Monk  ( 1 9 5 8 )  f e a t u r e s o f the homes o f e a r l y r e a d e r s . examined the home backgrounds of students  who had a t t a i n e d e i t h e r high or low achievement i n written English.  He found t h a t such f a c t o r s as the  3  amount o f time spent by the students i n r e a d i n g f o r pleasure and the number of l e t t e r s r e g u l a r l y w r i t t e n by the students a t home were a l l d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o the s t u d e n t s ' achievement i n w r i t t e n E n g l i s h . 2.  Home Background  Information  A l a r g e amount of e d u c a t i o n a l r e s e a r c h has been completed  which i n v e s t i g a t e s the~ a s s o c i a t i o n between  home f a c t o r s such as p a r e n t a l occupation and the s c h o l a s t i c achievement of s t u d e n t s . suggested  Such f a c t o r s  t o p i c s t o q u e s t i o n parents about f o r the  present study.  In h i s study c o n c e r n i n g the home  backgrounds of students, Monk determined some a s s o c i a t i o n between the g e n e r a l circumstances attainment  t h a t there was  socio-economic  o f homes and the s t u d e n t s ' l e v e l o f  i n written English.  F o r example, he concluded  that s t u d e n t s ' achievement i n w r i t t e n E n g l i s h was d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o p a r e n t a l occupation and f a m i l y housing. 3 . Leisure-Time  Activities  L e i s u r e time occupies a l a r g e p o r t i o n o f each c h i l d ' s day. Researchers  b e l i e v e t h a t what i s done  d u r i n g t h a t l e i s u r e time may w e l l a f f e c t other areas of the c h i l d ' s l i f e . the present survey  Questions were c o n s t r u c t e d f o r  i n order t o f i n d what a s s o c i a t i o n  4  e x i s t s between l e i s u r e - t i m e a c t i v i t i e s and a p u p i l ' s l e v e l of s k i l l  i n writing.  Monk's (1958) study  u s e f u l i n c o n s t r u c t i n g these q u e s t i o n s . examination  proved  From h i s  o f l e i s u r e - t i m e a c t i v i t i e s he was a b l e t o  conclude t h a t students i n the high-achievement  group  spent more l e i s u r e time r e a d i n g f o r p l e a s u r e , spent l e s s l e i s u r e time  i n the company of t h e i r peers, and  held fewer p a r t - t i m e jobs than d i d students i n the low achievement  group. 4.  P a r e n t a l Opinions  Researchers who have examined the home backgrounds of students agree t h a t the a t t i t u d e s of parents have an i n f l u e n c e on the attainment o f t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  Elizabeth  Goodacre (1970), who summarized a number o f d i f f e r e n t s t u d i e s c o n c e r n i n g the nature o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p between home f a c t o r s and s c h o o l p r o g r e s s , s t a t e d t h a t the a t t i t u d e s of parents have an e f f e c t on c h i l d r e n ' s s c h o o l attainment. Monk (1958) noted t h a t a d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t e d between the importance the degree  parents a t t a c h e d t o e d u c a t i o n and  o f achievement reached by the c h i l d .  The  present study asks q u e s t i o n s about p a r e n t a l a t t i t u d e s i n order to b e t t e r d e s c r i b e the e f f e c t that these a t t i t u d e s have on c h i l d r e n ' s s c h o o l attainment. degree  Such areas as the  o f s a t i s f a c t i o n which parents have w i t h r e a d i n g  and w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the s c h o o l s and the r o l e which they should play i n the education of t h e i r c h i l d r e n are explored.  5  Summary  5. The study  information  needed i n their  skill  is  such areas  by s t u d e n t s ,  home by s t u d e n t s experiences explores  up t o t h e t i m e  as  More  how p a r e n t s  in  is  information  these  areas  spent  concerning these  help of  are  in writing  and s t u d e n t ' s  in  is  the p o i n t s  of w r i t i n g  l e a r n i n g how t o p r i n t .  present  factors  r e s p o n d t o and  a b o u t what k i n d s  how much t i m e  of the  between home  incomplete.  and p a r e n t s ,  each of  knowledge  at  initial  The p r e s e n t  order to  done  add t o  study  existing  topics.  OVERVIEW 0 ? PROCEDURES To examine  environments wrote,  of  the r e l a t i o n s h i p  between f a c t o r s  students  skill  a questionnaire  160 g r a d e  six  pupils)  or l e s s  interviews pupils.  was  administered  with which  These p u p i l s  effective writers  were  (80 p u p i l s ) .  assured  were s e l e c t e d u s i n g proportionate  of a  home  they  to the parents  were c o n d u c t e d w i t h t h e p a r e n t s  that  i n the  of  judged  t o be e i t h e r more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  Interviewees  technique  and t h e  and s e v e n p u p i l s .  by t h e i r t e a c h e r s  the  gathered  c h i l d r e n with written assignments,  v i e w h e l d by p a r e n t s  E.  Background  c o n c e r n i n g the a s s o c i a t i o n  and w r i t i n g  best  of  (80  Subsequently, t e n of  those  random^sampling  representation  from  groups. Quantifiable  tabulated,  d a t a c o l l e c t e d by t h e s e means was  coded,  and d i f f e r e n c e s between g r o u p s were t e s t e d  for  6  significance.  A frequency  c r o s s - t a b u l a t i o n by group  (group  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s ) i d e n t i f i e d trends and d i f f e r e n c e s between the responses the two  A Kolmogorov-Smirnov two-sample t e s t  groups.  employed t o determine  i f the d i f f e r e n c e s found by  the c r o s s - t a b u l a t i o n were s t a t i s t i c a l l y  of was  examining  significant.  Data which were not q u a n t i f i a b l e were recorded and s t o r e d i n w r i t t e n form.  Such data were l a t e r r e p o r t e d a l o n g with  the other r e s u l t s . C.  DEFINITION OF TERMS " W r i t i n g p r o f i c i e n c y " r e f e r s to an assessment of a  student's w r i t i n g a b i l i t i e s i n nature and not based  b y . h i s teacher which  is.global  on a s i n g l e composition or on h i s  work i n a s i n g l e s u b j e c t area. " E a r l y r e a d e r s " are c h i l d r e n who  l e a r n the s k i l l  r e a d i n g before beginning formal s c h o o l i n s t r u c t i o n The of  label  students  of  in reading.  " l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s " r e f e r r e d to a group  (somewhat l e s s than a t h i r d of any group at a  p a r t i c u l a r grade l e v e l i n a p a r t i c u l a r s c h o o l ) who  were  judged by t h e i r teachers to have shown l e s s f a c i l i t y i n employing  a l l of the s k i l l s  of w r i t t e n composition  in their  work i n a l l s u b j e c t areas over the p e r i o d of a s c h o o l year. They were judged to have shown l e s s f a c i l i t y the composition s k i l l s  than approximately  in  employing  t w o - t h i r d s of the  students a t t h e i r grade l e v e l i n t h e i r s c h o o l .  7  to  a group o f students (somewhat l e s s than a t h i r d o f any  group of students a t a p a r t i c u l a r grade l e v e l i n a p a r t i c u l a r s c h o o l ) who were judged by t h e i r teachers t o have shown more f a c i l i t y  i n employing  a l l the s k i l l s o f  w r i t t e n composition i n t h e i r work i n a l l s u b j e c t areas over the p e r i o d o f a s c h o o l y e a r . have shown more f a c i l i t y  They were judged t o  i n employing  the composition  s k i l l s than approximately two t h i r d s of t h e students a t t h e i r grade D.  l e v e l i n t h e i r school.  QUESTIONS T h i s study was designed t o pursue answers t o f o u r  questions J 1.  Which r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s done a t home by both c h i l d r e n and t h e i r f a m i l y members are a s s o c i a t e d with e i t h e r more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s or l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s ?  2.  What m a t e r i a l s i n the home or r e g u l a r events of the household  are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h e i t h e r more-  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s or l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s ? 3.  What l e i s u r e time a c t i v i t i e s p a r t i c i p a t e d i n by student w r i t e r s , t h e i r p a r e n t s , or both are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h e i t h e r more e f f e c t i v e or  4.  writers  less effective writers?  What are the o p i n i o n s o f parents about  their  r o l e s i n h e l p i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n l e a r n the s k i l l s  8  o f r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g w h i c h a r e  associated  w i t h e i t h e r more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s effective E.  or  less  writers?  ASSUMPTIONS The f o l l o w i n g  assumptions  u n d e r l i e the  current  study. 1.  The g l o b a l students writers  judgments  were  of t e a c h e r s about  i d e n t i f i e d as  more e f f e c t i v e  i n one s c h o o l were v e r y  judgments  which  similar  to  a b o u t more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  were made by o t h e r t e a c h e r s a t  which  other selected  schools. 2.  Mothers  were a b l e  t o remember many e v e n t s  the p r e s c h o o l years a l s o assumed d i d not F.  that  of  the c h i l d r e n .  any f o r g e t t i n g  introduce bias  i n t o the  It  from was  of such  events  study.  LIMITATIONS Formal g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of the r e s u l t s  by t h e use  of  only  with approximately  four schools forty  Generalizability students  in a large  is  is  from a l a r g e  qualified  district  schools. l i m i t e d t o grade  British  six  Columbia I n t e r i o r  and  seven  School  district. The sample generalizable and  seems r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f b u t n o t  t o towns o f medium s i z e  i n other parts  of  Canada.  in British  formally Columbia  9  A limitation  of the study  rates  between t h e g r o u p  group  of less  parents was  is  effective writers.  81 p e r c e n t w h i l e  The r e s p o n s e  of less  and t h e  rate  o f more e f f e c t i v e  the response  i n the group  response  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  of s t u d e n t s - i n the group  students  the d i f f e r i n g  rate  f o r parents  effective writers  for writers of  was 6 5  percent. A final is  almost  limitation  of the c u r r e n t study  c a n be d i s t o r t e d by p o o r memory,  g i v i n g answers which they  c o n s t r u c t i n g the data g a t h e r i n g the  detrimental effects  G.  SIGNIFICANCE study  understanding writers  improve t h e w r i t i n g The q u e s t i o n  to  data.  are both basic  u s e f u l to parents  skills  which produce who w i s h t o  skill  o f home  environment  in writing,  ago, has not been  t i m e , no r e s e a r c h e r h a s  The p r e s e n t  see i f a r e l a t i o n s h i p  to  of t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  o f what f a c t o r s  that  that  the environments  examined t w e n t y - f i v e y e a r s  question.  in  to minimize  w h i c h accompany r e c a l l e d  seem t o i n f l u e n c e c h i l d r e n ' s  this  to  C a r e was t a k e n ,  instruments,  examines q u e s t i o n s  more a b o u t  Since  respondents  OF THE STUDY  and p o t e n t i a l l y  answered.  by  it  Such  t h i n k t h e r e s e a r c h e r wants  o r due t o o t h e r c i r c u m s t a n c e s .  This  that  e n t i r e l y concerned with r e c a l l e d data.  information  hear,  is  study  exists  offers  first  fully investigated  the  opportunity  between home  environment  10  factors  and s c h o o l a c h i e v e m e n t  This study home s i t u a t i o n investigated  i n written composition.  d i d not purport t o describe the i d e a l f o r producing excellent  writing; i t  whether o r n o t p r o f i c i e n c y  i n the s k i l l s  o f w r i t t e n c o m p o s i t i o n was a s s o c i a t e d w i t h home e n v i r o n m e n t s  certain  would p r o v i d e u s e f u l  o f home  proficiency  i n f o r m a t i o n t o p a r e n t s a n d would  i s a l r e a d y known a b o u t  home e n v i r o n m e n t H.  characteristics  are associated with w r i t i n g  augment what  i n the  of students.  Finding that environment  factors  which f a c t o r s o f  seem t o promote w r i t i n g e x c e l l e n c e .  ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY The  background, procedures,  study are presented 1.  the problem  This  of 2.  significance  o f the study,  limitations  and a n  overview  procedures. Chapter  briefly  2 - Review o f l i t e r a t u r e .  This  chapter  d e s c r i b e s r e s e a r c h i n t o the r e l a t i o n s h i p  between home e n v i r o n m e n t especially  i n the areas  proficiency. and  chapter  and a summary o f i t s  background, the r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n s , and  of this  chapters.  1 - The p r o b l e m .  Chapter  presents  i n five  and the r e s u l t s  Research  and s c h o o l  attainment  o f r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g on q u e s t i o n n a i r e c o n s t r u c t i o n  interview planning i s also  briefly  summarized.  11  3.  Chapter 3 - Methodology.  the  s e l e c t i o n o f t h e s a m p l e , d e v e l o p m e n t and  administration the  interview  statistical 4.  chapter  of the questionnaire, agenda, d a t a  describes  development o f  o r g a n i z a t i o n , and  treatments.  Chapter 4 - Results.  compilation indication  This  This  chapter  presents  of cross-tabulation r e s u l t s , of s t a t i s t i c a l l y  significant  a  an differences  between t h e g r o u p s , a r e p o r t i n g o f t h e f i n d i n g s f o r e a c h v a r i a b l e , a n d a summary  of data  gathered  from  interviews. 5.  Chapter 5 - Conclusions.  conclusions, are  presented  A summary  of findings,  and i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r f u r t h e r in this  chapter.  research  CHAPTER TWO: Many o f of  students  background  the have  investigations  have skill  and s c h o o l a t t a i n m e n t  and r e a d i n g  found a s s o c i a t i o n s  a)  interaction  for  at  home by c h i l d r e n , d)  and o c c u p a t i o n ,  e)  writing materials,  easy f)  of  family  i n q u i e t and,  higher  levels  access  for  generally,  time,  and h)  strong  their  children.  implementation  parental  g)  members who m o d e l  sequencing questions, conditions  e)  activities, activities  of p a r e n t a l  and e a r l y children's  education  i n the  c)  participation  education  in  c o n c e r n i n g a)  how t o w r i t e length,  of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n  f)  and  interest  in their  and i n t e r v i e w s  survey  12  parent-child  activities  and g u i d e l i n e s  to avoid,  o f home  of proper c o n s t r u c t i o n  of questionnaires  b) q u e s t i o n s  language  children to reading  interest  Investigators  principles  g)  solitary  investigators  or w r i t i n g  stong  activities,  of  frequent  in reading  children's  i n r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g  procedures,  research  c o n c e r n i n g r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g  frequent p a r t i c i p a t i o n  d)  association  factors  c h i l d r e n , b)  c)  choice,  between home  attainment.  following  the p r e s e n c e  language b e h a v i o r s  backgrounds  between h i g h l e v e l s  d e v e l o p m e n t and t h e  listed  or the  i n t e r v i e w and q u e s t i o n n a i r e  environment:  have  o f t h e home  examined t h e a s s o c i a t i o n  between home b a c k g r o u n d Using  RELATED RESEARCH  leisure of and  research word  questions, piloting  and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ,  13  h)  interview  types,  interviewing, all  and  i)  j)  facts  o f human n a t u r e  interpretation  o f w h i c h were used  of  essential  interview  i n the p r e p a r a t i o n s  for  to  responses  the  current  study. A.  LANGUAGE MODELS —  —  .  _  Hall have  _  _  _  _  _  /  (1976), T a y l o r  shown t h a t  provide  _  (1981),  t h e models  skills.  c h i l d r e n who l e a r n e d t h e as  parent,  homes where  family  write,  states  descriptions  (pp.  "all  of  the f a m i l i e s  on a d a i l y  Durkin  basis  found (p.  Teale's  finding  reading  was  associated  with  Monk (1958), i n h i s home e n v i r o n m e n t discovered  and s c h o o l  t h e r e was  other  describing  of t h e i r  (p.98).  by f a m i l y 8).  children's  Further  the mothers  (p.  of  a relationship  by  early  (I98O)  cites  members  Additionally,  of the a s s o c i a t i o n  achievement  and  are g i v e n  9) and L i s t o n  early reading examination  "  that  r e a d more t h e m s e l v e s regular  writing  Taylor,  behaviors  readers  that  one  observed  spoke  of  than  l e a r n e d how t o r e a d  of language modeling  and T e a l e .  children's  earlier  engaged i n  583-584).  children readily  experiencing print  Durkin  or s i b l i n g s  reading  where  on  d e s c r i b e d t h e homes  of w r i t i n g  (1966)  siblings  influence  and where c h i l d r e n f r e q u e n t l y  members  families  and  c h i l d r e n c o u l d o f t e n observe  both parents,  activities  Hall  skill  (1978), D u r k i n  parents  i n t h e home e x e r t a s t r o n g  r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g  usual  that  Teale  in written  between a  between English,  child's  14  w r i t i n g achievement and h i s b e i n g read t o i n i n f a n c y ,  (p.68)  This  (1966),  r e l a t i o n s h i p has since been confirmed by Durkin  Clark  (1976),  P l e s s a s & Oakes ( 1 9 6 4 ) , (1973.  Briggs & E l k i n s B.  Price  ( 1 9 7 6 ) , and  1977).  PARENT-CHILD INTERACTION CONCERNING READING AND WRITING ACTIVITIES Clark  (1976),  determined t h a t  Durkin ( 1 9 6 6 ) ,  and Kenyon (1979)  the p a r e n t s and s i b l i n g s o f e a r l y r e a d e r s  spend long p e r i o d s of time d i s c u s s i n g r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s Clark  ( I 9 7 6 )  achieved w e l l  and encouraging the  of c h i l d r e n .  found that the parents o f c h i l d r e n who  i n r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g tended t o spend  amounts of t h e i r time h e l p i n g  such p a r e n t s d i s c u s s e d  large  t h e i r c h i l d r e n with b e g i n n i n g  r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s . that  have  Durkin  ( I 9 6 6 )  determined  r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g f r e e l y and  r e g u l a r l y with t h e i r c h i l d r e n and that they encouraged t h e i r c h i l d r e n t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g experiences. Clark  (I976) s t a t e d  whom she s t u d i e d children indicated  that the parents o f e a r l y r e a d e r s  welcomed v e r b a l  (p. 4 2 ) . Durkin  i n t e r a c t i o n with t h e i r  (I966) s t a t e d  t h a t her r e s e a r c h  "...the presence o f p a r e n t s who spend time w i t h  t h e i r c h i l d r e n , who read t o them, who answer t h e i r q u e s t i o n s and  r e q u e s t s f o r help, who demonstrate i n t h e i r own l i v e s  t h a t r e a d i n g i s a r i c h source o f r e l a x a t i o n ,  information,  1 5  and  contentment " (p. 1J6). The encouragement of r e a d i n g  by f a m i l y members was a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f the homes examined by Kenyon  ( 1 9 7 9 )  and C l a r k  Kenyon found  t h a t more students  i n the above average and average groups  ( 1 9 7 6 ) .  of r e a d i n g achievement came from homes where f a m i l y members and  f a m i l y a c t i v i t i e s encouraged r e a d i n g .  t h a t most parents  o f e a r l y readers  encouraged t h e i r e a r l y readers C.  whom she i n v e s t i g a t e d  i n the use o f the l i b r a r y .  DESCRIPTIONS OF CHILDREN'S.READING AND WRITING BEHAVIORS Clark  ( 1 9 5 8 )  Durkin  ( 1 9 7 6 ) ,  reported  Liston  ( 1 9 6 6 ) ,  i n the e a r l y readers  (I98O) d e s c r i b e d  f l u e n t readers  L i s t o n (I98O), and Monk  t h a t a c c e l e r a t e d a c q u i s i t i o n o f language  s k i l l s took place  and  C l a r k noted  they s t u d i e d .  e a r l y readers  as being  truly  and showing "...a c l e a r s t r e n g t h i n a u d i t o r y  language memory tasks  " (p. 1 2 ) i C l a r k  that many of the e a r l y readers  stated  ( 1 9 7 6 )  she examined showed a f e e l  f o r the s t y l e of w r i t t e n language unusual a t t h e i r age, and a p r e c i s i o n o f vocabulary  and of a p p r o p r i a t e  syntax which was remarkableBoth C l a r k e a r l y readers  ( 1 9 7 6 )  Monk  (p. 9 ) .  and Durkin  ( I 9 6 6 )  asserted  tended to l e a r n t o p r i n t before  same time as l e a r n i n g to read ( 1 9 5 8 )  written  (Durkin  p.  that  or a t the  137)•  found t h a t the amount of time spent i n  r e a d i n g f o r p l e a s u r e was r e l a t e d t o the c h i l d ' s achievement in written English  (p.  53),and  t h a t the b e t t e r  achievers  16  preferred reading  (p. 8 5 ) .  as a mode of g e t t i n g i n f o r m a t i o n  Monk a l s o concluded that  " . . . c h i l d r e n i n the s u p e r i o r  achievement group i n w r i t t e n E n g l i s h tended t o w r i t e more l e t t e r s than d i d those i n the i n f e r i o r group" and  (p. 106)  "the amount o f time spent i n home study... seemed t o be  d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o achievement i n w r i t t e n E n g l i s h " (p. 7 1 ) . Monk (1958),  i n summarizing h i s f i n d i n g s , s t a t e d  that  i n response t o n e a r l y every i n t e l l e c t u a l i n t e r e s t or a c t i v i t y which he questioned students about, the w r i t e r s who achieved  higher  standards i n w r i t t e n E n g l i s h tended  to have that i n t e r e s t more or p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h a t more than t h e i r lower a c h i e v i n g D.  activity  peers.  SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS Monk (1958), C l a r k  Goodacre (1970), F r a s e r  (1976), H a l l (1976), Durkin (1959), and T a y l o r  (1966),  (1981) found  t h a t the home c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a s s o c i a t e d with  superior  language s k i l l s were a) both parents l i v i n g i n the home, b) high  l e v e l s o f education  c) being the o l d e s t c h i l d  possessed by parents, and  i n a family.  Monk (1958) found t h a t c h i l d r e n i n homes where f a t h e r l i v e d a t home and worked f u l l time tended t o achieve higher marks i n w r i t t e n E n g l i s h .  He a l s o s t a t e d t h a t the  achievement of c h i l d r e n was c l o s e l y and p o s i t i v e l y r e l a t e d to the type of occupation high a c h i e v e r s  h e l d by t h e i r f a t h e r s .  had f a t h e r s with h i g h l y s k i l l e d  (The  jobs.)  17  Because  of these  "the achievement parental  two f i n d i n g s he was a b l e  t o conclude  o f t h e c h i l d r e n was d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o  occupation  Monk ( 1 9 5 8 ) ,  "  (p.  Clark  131)•  (1976),  and H a l l  (1976)  explored the r e a d i n g or w r i t i n g attainment whose m o t h e r s worked o u t s i d e  t h e home.  mothers  i n h e r group o f p a r e n t s  outside  t h e home and H a l l  one-half  were p r e s c h o o l e r s  reported that  mothers  of Durkin  and e a r l y w r i t e r s  of those  professional  were c o l l e g e occupations  stated  (1976) of early  t o each  other. than  college  f o u n d t h a t most p a r e n t s  of  g r a d u a t e s who were e i t h e r i n  o r q u a l i f i e d f o r them  In r e f e r e n c e t o the p o s i t i o n (1981)  t h e home.  of early readers  who d i d n o t r e a d e a r l y were  ( p . 9), and H a l l  early writers  outside  similar  of lower  between  of the parents  c o n c l u d e d t h a t more m o t h e r s  some  t h e home w h i l e  (1966).and H a l l  were v e r y  in  children  Monk f o u n d t h a t  a c h i e v e m e n t and m o t h e r s w o r k i n g  graduates  Taylor  their  Monk f o u n d no a s s o c i a t i o n  concerning the educational l e v e l  Durkin  approximately  The same was a l s o t r u e o f m o t h e r s  The f i n d i n g s  readers  f o u n d few  of early writers  t h e home w h i l e  (pp. 583-584).  achieving writers. writing  of children  Clark  o f s u p e r i o r w r i t e r s worked o u t s i d e  some d i d n o t .  each  o f e a r l y r e a d e r s who worked  o f t h e s e v e n t y - n i n e mothers  h e r s t u d y worked o u t s i d e  mothers  that  (p. 583)«  of children i n a  " T h e r e was a g e n e r a l c o n c e n s u s  family, that  18  the  firstborn  and w r i t i n g She  r e c e i v e d more a t t e n t i o n r e l a t i n g  from p a r e n t s  stated this  were r e a d i l y Monk  a f t e r examining  successful asserted  (1958)  t h a n any s u b s e q u e n t families  in learning  that  child  i n which  oldest  children  the highest  ( p . 159).  o f T a y l o r and Monk s u g g e s t master other  language  skills  that  firstborn  the  children  findings  often  and e f f e c t i v e l y  f o r Development  than  of  (1980),  and s c h o o l  of over 18,000 s t u d e n t s ,  environment  " . . . one-parent  about  children's  problems  that  their  t h e one p a r e n t  s c h o o l performance  states  w h i c h examined t h e home  "...students  "  that  peers... may i m p a i r  ( p . 3) . Thompson  from t w o - p a r e n t  reading  t h a n do s t u d e n t s  from o n e - p a r e n t  suggest a p o s i t i v e  two-parent  home s i t u a t i o n  to record higher  the presence  found  c h i l d r e n show l o w e r a c h i e v e m e n t and p r e s e n t  discipline  something  E.  in written  and from  Educational A c t i v i t i e s  also  98).  children. A r e p o r t by t h e I n s t i t u t e  more  (p.  children  achievement  Taken t o g e t h e r ,  more r e a d i l y  "  t o r e a d and w r i t e .  E n g l i s h was f r o m o n l y c h i l d r e n who were m a l e s female  to reading  (1979)  families  tend  comprehension achievement  association  of both parents  families."  scores  These  between l a n g u a g e  findings  s k i l l and  i n t h e home.  HOME CHARACTERISTICS Hall  and T e a l e  (1976), (1978)  Monk  (1958),  found that  Clark  (1976),  Kenyon  t h e homes o f s u p e r i o r  (1979),  readers  19  and w r i t e r s were c h a r a c t e r i z e d by s u p p l i e s children,  readily accessible  experiences with books, r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g Hall  were a v a i l a b l e  writing materials,  and a t m o s p h e r e s  books,  encouraged  magazines,  and newspapers  t o a l l f a m i l y members i n t h e homes  e a r l y w r i t e r s whom she s t u d i e d concluded that  that  many  activities.  found that  (1976)  o f books f o r  (pp. 583-584)  o f the  a n d Monk  (1958)  t h e number o f books f o r c h i l d r e n a n d t h e  number o f books f o r a d u l t s  i n t h e home were b o t h r e l a t e d  t o a c h i e v e m e n t i n w r i t t e n E n g l i s h by c h i l d r e n f r o m t h e home  (pp. 57,  59).  I n t h e homes o f e a r l y w r i t e r s , that writing materials child,  and u s u a l l y  permission Other  homes  exciting  findings  found  to the  special  parental  c o n c e r n i n g t h e r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g  of c h i l d r e n i n c l u d e d those ( o f e a r l y r e a d e r s were)  of Clark  (1976):  p r o v i d i n g r i c h and  e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h i n w h i c h books were a n i n t e g r a l  part"  (p. 46).  Teale  (1978)  to  were r e a d i l y a c c e s s i b l e  c o u l d be u s e d w i t h o u t  also  (1976)  ( p p . 58-3-584),  experiences "all  Hall  Also,  that  be a s s o c i a t e d  Liston  (I98O)  one i m p o r t a n t  the f i n d i n g of  f a c t o r w h i c h has b e e n shown  with early reading i s  range  of printed materials  Clark  d e s c r i b e d t h e home a t m o s p h e r e  warm, a c c e p t i n g ,  cites  " a v a i l a b i l i t y and  i n the environment  and n o n - p r e s s u r i z e d  " (p. 8).  o f e a r l y r e a d e r s as (p. 4 8 ) .  Kenyon  (1979)  20  found that  t h e r e was  a great  in reading  exhibited  i n t h e homes  (p.  and L i s t o n  1)  (1980) r e p o r t s  that  t h e home e n v i r o n m e n t s  what  t h e c h i l d was  F.  CHILDREN'S  d e a l of t o t a l  trying  of  t o do  and  or a v e r a g e at  usually  responded  to  8),  IQ's,  b)  and e)  (instead  in reading  writing  having  higher  being  girls,  c)  d)  being  b e i n g the  of  and  a)  a young age,  'solitary',  in reading  found  CHARACTERISTICS  have been d e s c r i b e d as  career plans  readers  (1978)  readers  (p.  interest  average  that Teale  early  C h i l d r e n who a c h i e v e d w e l l  average  o f above  family  such  having  made  'self-sufficient'  source  interest  than  of  being  initial  interest  initiated  by  parents). Gage stated skill  (1963)  that  in his  a positive  and i n t e l l i g e n c e  Diederich  (1957)  Handbook  relationship was  (I967) f o u n d t h a t  writers  he s t u d i e d was  intelligence  (p.  1)  was  (I967) writers  also  & Kruglov  that  (1950).  they  "...had  high  and Monk (1958) c o n c l u d e d  (p.  I85).  indicated that,  in his  composition  one c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  a powerful f a c t o r  in written English  between  sample  on T e a c h i n g  f o u n d by M c C a r t h y  and Lange  Maloney  ratings..."  of Research  Results  generally,  of  In  addition,  of the  that  o b t a i n e d by the  superior  intelligence  in determining  of n i n t h - g r a d e r s  Another c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  (195^),  achievement Maloney  superior  were g i r l s  superior writers  was  (p. a  1).  21  t e n d e n c y t o make f u t u r e p l a n s ,  (1958) c o n c l u d e d .  Monk  writers  in his  sample  a future career finish  skilled  jobs  (p.  as  sufficiency"  (they  others early  students  for  had  their  chosen  of  c o n c e n t r a t i o n and  c o u l d be c o n t e n t  s t u d i e d were o f t e n d e s c r i b e d  or  she  'doing  things  these  found that  read e a r l y , groups.  of  (p.  "...appeared generally  company  finding  4-2)  that as  she  also  well-adjusted  acceptable  r e s e a r c h done by Regan of the  ideal  to  individualism  early readers  however, showed l i t t l e  (I967) )  personality  were s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y ,  and f a s t i d i o u s  matching  While  self-  102).  characteristics  in school)  self-control,  s e e n as  (p.  102).  on t h e i r own'  children  (who c i t e s  the  success  "  (p.  e i t h e r i n the  readers  classmates  Durkin's  jobs  own)  Goodacre  two  "powers  school and...(were)  (for  achieving  155).  having  discovered that  their  to  achievement  o r on t h e i r  'solitary'  to  the d e s i r e  with high  skilled  superior  had d e c i d e d on  and t h e h i g h e r  153)  the lower a c h i e v i n g  investigated  the  (p.  most  (1976) d e s c r i b e d t h e e a r l y r e a d e r s she  Clark  of  associated  had c h o s e n more h i g h l y  futures while  that  Monk f o u n d t h a t  1).  h i g h s c h o o l was  students  stated  (of n i n t h - g r a d e r s )  (p.  in written English  less  Maloney  (19&7) and  both Maloney  (p.  and t h o s e  perseverance, 117).  who d i d  not  d i f f e r e n c e between t h e  22  "Initial they (p.  (the  parents)  stated  5 4 )  the  interest  interests  interests  i n r e a d i n g was  just  Clark  responded to requests  readers.  time,  then suddenly  Superior having as  readers  a strong  w e l l as  that  future  at  ( 1 9 6 6 )  'interest  discarded  (p.  and w r i t e r s  also  their  intelligence  a young age,  during  long  periods  1 3 7 ) .  have b e e n d e s c r i b e d  i n r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g  initiators  "  described  binges' for  and...  for help  found that  indulged.in  They have a l s o  or h i g h e r plans  were  interest  b e i n g the  interest.  average  She  were c h a r a c t e r i z e d by  which c e r t a i n i n t e r e s t s of  Durkin  ( 1 9 7 6 ) .  of e a r l y  from the c h i l d  and t h e  activities  ones who  sustain  b e e n d e s c r i b e d as ratings,  having  being g i r l s ,  and b e i n g  as  'solitary*  making  and  *self-suffic ient'. G.  LEISURE A C T I V I T I E S Monk  ( 1 9 5 8 )  children to  OF CHILDREN  investigated  a s c e r t a i n which  the  of  leisure  Among o t h e r f i n d i n g s ,  t h e even b u d g e t i n g  of  possible  activities  by p a r e n t s  Monk  ( 1 9 5 8 )  found that  of peers  the e f f e c t  of  activities  writers.  of time  a p p e a r e d t o be d e t r i m e n t a l  on t h e a c h i e v e m e n t  that  participation  and t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n t h e p r e f e r r e d  t h e company influence  t i m e among a number  with superior  with  he c o n c l u d e d  and a h i g h f r e q u e n c y o f  o f c h i l d r e n were a s s o c i a t e d  of  them were a s s o c i a t e d  superior writers.  leisure  activities  in written English  spent in of  in  its  2 3  students  (p. 97).  was  inversely  (p.  97). Closely  He a l s o n o t e d t h a t  r e l a t e d to achievement  i s the budgeting  (1958)  found t h a t  budget  t h e i r t i m e more e v e n l y  activities He a l s o to  than  the higher  lower  during  achieving  group  television  a part-time  readers  selective.  of r e c r e a t i o n a l (p. 180).  j o b was r e l a t e d  and w a t c h i n g  leisure  Monk f o u n d  spent  time,  more t i m e group  (p. 79).  watching ( p . 81)  part  She r e p o r t e d t h a t  i n what was on t e l e v i s i o n that  Because  of  pupils  habits  of  being  absorbed  (p. 55).  t h e r e was a  of achievement  in h i s preferred a c t i v i t y ;  watching  time  as  than  t h e room i f t h e y were n o t  frequency w i t h which parents  (p. 95).  but that  (1976)  of  the lower-  television  readers  interested  between t h e l e v e l  or l e f t  early  i n a book  stated  that  The t e l e v i s i o n v i e w i n g  were d e s c r i b e d by C l a r k  Monk (1958)  activities  of the free  themselves  picnics  Monk  tended t o  writers  the l i s t e n i n g  occupied a large  an both groups  the  English  time.  writers  achieving  peers  i n which  over a v a r i e t y  having  did the h i g h e r - a c h i e v i n g  early  of leisure  with  achievement.  Concerning children  pursuits  achieving  d i d the lower  concluded that  spent  in written  related to leisure-time  c h i l d r e n engage  time  relationship  i n w r i t t e n E n g l i s h and participated  f o r example, of t h i s ,  with  baseball  he went  on t o  a child or  advise  2k  "...parents  s h o u l d be e n c o u r a g e d t o  activities  of  H.  OPINIONS AND  PARENT  Studies and Monk  their children"  by B u r t  ATTITUDESDurkin  ( 1 9 6 9 ) .  children  took  interest  a more a c t i v e p a r t  of  Parents  achieving  did with t h e i r r o l e s quotes  ( 1 9 7 0 )  home c i r c u m s t a n c e s , t h e progress  (p.  and  in  of t h e i r  than the parents  Burt  as  lower  i s the a t t i t u d e  in his  day-to-day  also  lower-  parents. "In  ( 1 9 6 9 ) 1  of  for  the  child's  of his  most  parents  e d u c a t i o n a l work  8 3 ) .  Durkin  i n e x p l o r i n g the a t t i t u d e s  ( 1 9 6 6 ) ,  toward t e a c h i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n r e a d i n g a t t h a t more, m o t h e r s for  respect  one f a c t o r w h i c h c o n t r i b u t e s  school  interest  their  of h i g h e r - a c h i e v i n g students  satisfaction  Goodacre  who  children's  in educating  expressed stronger students  ( 1 9 7 6 ) ,  students  in their  e d u c a t i o n than d i d the p a r e n t s  achieving peers.  towards,  of  i n t h e home, and e x p r e s s e d a s t r o n g e r  the value  to his  Clark  ( 1 9 6 6 ) ,  the p a r e n t s  achieved w e l l took a stronger schoolwork,  the r e c r e a t i o n a l  ( p . 9 5 ) .  revealed that  ( 1 9 5 8 )  share  parents  of  e a r l y readers thought  to teach r e a d i n g at  readers expert  d i d not (p.  Ill),  feel  (p.  9 ) .  the p a r e n t s  parents  home d i s c o v e r e d it  appropriate  home t h a n d i d t h e  o f c h i l d r e n who d i d n o t r e a d e a r l y l e d her to the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t  of  Her of  parents  findings  early  r e a d i n g had t o be t a u g h t by  an  "  2 5  Clark  (1976)  d e s c r i b e d the p a r e n t s ' o f e a r l y readers  having a r e s p e c t f o r the value of education Monk ( I 9 5 8 )  (p. 42)  as and  s t a t e d "...a d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t e d .  between the importance a t t a c h e d to i t (education) by the parent and (p.  the degree of achievement reached  by the  child."  137)  An a t t i t u d e of parents which a l s o i n f l u e n c e d the attainment  of c h i l d r e n was  p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g toward the  r o l e of p a r e n t i n g .  Clark ( I 9 7 6 )  of e a r l y r e a d e r s  were q u i t e s a t i s f i e d being  absorbed and  found  i n the job of p a r e n t i n g (p. 93)  t h a t the parents  and  completely  "A contentment  s a t i s f a c t i o n with the r o l e of mother and a deep  involvement  with t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s i n t e r e s t s was  clearly  e v i d e n t . . . " (p. 4 3 ) I.  SURVEY METHODS Questionnaire  items f o r the present study were  c o n s t r u c t e d u s i n g the advice of such r e s e a r c h e r s as Oppenheim ( 1 9 6 6 ) ,  Jacobs ( 1 9 7 4 ) ,  concerning a) word choice questions  d) sequencing  Jacobs ( 1 9 7 4 )  c) w r i t i n g  q u e s t i o n s i n the q u e s t i o n n a i r e f ) c o n d i t i o n s of  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of q u e s t i o n n a i r e s . d e s c r i b e d some important g u i d e l i n e s  f o r survey c o n s t r u c t i o n . taken  (1975)  b) q u e s t i o n types  e) q u e s t i o n n a i r e p i l o t i n g , and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and  and Charach  He  e x p l a i n e d t h a t care must be  i n choosing every word t h a t appears i n a  26  questionnaire. what i t in  its  is  E a c h word t h a t  is  i n t e n d e d t o mean, be t h e s i m p l e s t  context,  Questions  and be a b s o l u t e l y of a l l  way q u e s t i o n s  Multiple in  to  survey.  questions  questions.  is  that  also  choice questions A list was  p r o d u c e d by S o c i a l  questions  (f)  arithmetical questions  questions  (h)  ambiguous q u e s t i o n s  be  Additionally,  (e)  (i)  Jacobs  'loaded *.  and n o t p r e s e n t  of  choice  analyze. multiple  used.  construction  construction  Research (c)  overly  (1972): irritating  complicated  hypothetical  secondary  (1974) a d v i s e s  present a l l viewpoints  and s i m p l e ,  survey  (g)  s h o u l d c o n t a i n terms w h i c h are  respondents, short  questions  or  were a l s o  highbrow q u e s t i o n s  apologetic  questions  features  for questionnaire  (d)  44-46).  of m u l t i p l e  d i f f i c u l t t o answer  questions  (pp.  questions  that  t o be a v o i d e d i n  (b)  of  from the r e s p o n d e n t s  and Community P l a n n i n g  leading questions  were  they  and o p e n - e n d e d q u e s t i o n s  of questions  two-  formulate,  which combined the  p r e s e n t e d i n a handbook  (a)  hard to  A f u r t h e r advantage  they are not  A number o f q u e s t i o n s  Three  t o r e s p o n d t o and a n a l y z e .  p r o v i d e d much more c o m p l e t e d a t a d i d two-way  (1974)  made up t h e m a j o r i t y  While  possible  10).  Such q u e s t i o n s  but easy  choice questions  the p r e s e n t  (p.  current study.  were c o n s t r u c t e d . construct  necessary  mean  word  t h r e e types which Jacobs  d e s c r i b e d were employed i n t h e  difficult  s e l e c t e d should  familiar  questions that to  in t h e i r responses,  undesirable  choices  or  be  2 7  In a d d i t i o n to w r i t i n g q u e s t i o n s f o r surveys c a r e f u l l y , the r e s e a r c h e r should a l s o place q u e s t i o n s i n the c o r r e c t sequence i n h i s survey. Research  The S o c i a l and Community P l a n n i n g  (1972) handbook on q u e s t i o n n a i r e c o n s t r u c t i o n  advised that q u e s t i o n s which are i n t e r e s t i n g and easy to answer be p l a c e d a t the b e g i n n i n g of a survey, more d i f f i c u l t and e m o t i o n a l l y loaded q u e s t i o n s be put i n the middle, and s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d q u e s t i o n s appear a t the survey's end  (p.  3 2 ) .  The l e n g t h of a survey i s another important f o r the r e s e a r c h e r . l e n g t h has l i t t l e  While Charach  effect  consideration  states that  ( 1 9 7 5 )  (pp. 5 - 6 ) making  on response r a t e  a survey too l o n g can have d e t r i m e n t a l e f f e c t s on the validity  of responses.  I f respondents are f a t i g u e d  and  bored by extremely l o n g surveys, t h e i r responses w i l l adversely  affected.  Jacobs which was was  be  (1974) a l s o o u t l i n e s the p i l o t i n g  adopted  f o r use i n t h i s survey.  procedure  A group which  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the f i n a l t a r g e t audience and which  knew the s u b j e c t of the survey p r e t e s t e d i t and as a d v i s e d " . . . e x p l a i n e d t h e i r responses" (p. Charach  ( 1 9 7 5 )  Jacobs  31)•  s t a t e s that i n order t o o b t a i n honest  and frank responses and thereby a i d survey v a l i d i t y , i t i s a l s o n e c e s s a r y to assure the complete as the c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y  of t h e i r  anonymity as w e l l  (the s u b j e c t s ' ) responses  28  to  those  outside  the r e s e a r c h s t a f f  he s t a t e s  that  non r e s p o n s e  introduce  bias  to the study,  o r low r e s p o n s e  Clark  a description present was  study.  types,  piloting  provided  (1975)  procedures,  (1966),  f o r the researchers  and c o n d i t i o n s  and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n .  INTERVIEW METHODS  study  i n t e r v i e w agenda  constructed f o r the present  was f o r m u l a t e d u s i n g  Kahn  types  interviewing, understood interview  (c) f a c t s  o f such  investigators  (1942) c o n c e r n i n g (a) t h e  of interviews,  (b) t h e p u r p o s e s  of  o f human n a t u r e n e e d i n g t o be  by i n t e r v i e w e r s ,  and  (d) t h e i n t e r p r e t i n g o f  responses.  Descriptions the present  Garrett  the r e s u l t s  (i960) a n d G a r r e t t  different  for  (1974), and C h a r a c h  The i n f o r m a t i o n p r o v i d e d by t h e s e  about q u e s t i o n  The  as  s u c h a s Oppenheim  o f how t o b u i l d a n e f f e c t i v e s u r v e y  of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n J.  rates can  results.  investigators  Jacobs  (1976),  Additionally,  a n d s h o u l d be c a r e f u l l y  c o n s i d e r e d when i n t e r p r e t i n g In c o n c l u s i o n ,  (p. 5 ) «  (1942).  of the type  study  were p r o v i d e d by Kahn  Kahn s t a t e s  concerned with a t t i t u d e s , and d e s c r i p t i o n s Garrett  of s e l f  (1942)  which are e s s e n t i a l  of interview  that  values,  constructed  (i960) a n d  such i n t e r v i e w s feelings,  hopes,  were plans,  (p. 1 8 ) .  listed  four  facts  o f human n a t u r e  f o r t h e i n t e r v i e w e r t o remember i f an  29  effective 1.  i n t e r v i e w i s to be conducted. Respondents do not have to know or be able to  name a cause f o r t h e i r a c t i o n s  ( o f t e n they simply cannot  do s o ) . 2.  Every f a c t o f human experience, ( o b j e c t i v e  has i t s c o r r e s p o n d i n g emotional a t t i t u d e s  fact)  (subjective  f a c t ) and both must be c o n s i d e r e d when i n t e r v i e w i n g . 3.  Ambivalence  - the h a r b o r i n g o f c o n f l i c t i n g  i n t e r e s t s , d e s i r e s and emotions  feelings,  about causes of a c t i o n s ;  i s present t o some extent i n each person. 4.  The development of an emotional  or negative-between inevitable. rapport  rapport—positive  the i n t e r v i e w e r and the interviewee i s  The i n t e r v i e w e r should aim t o c o n t r o l  that  (not e l i m i n a t e i t ) (p. 2 0 ) .  In order to achieve the most frank and open responses from respondents,  i n t e r v i e w e r s should keep these  facts  of human nature i n mind and t r y to understand - (not pass judgment on) the a c t i o n s of respondents. The l a s t task o f the i n t e r v i e w e r i s to i n t e r p r e t the responses which he r e c e i v e d .  Garrett  (1942) d e s c r i b e s  the procedure as one o f c o n s t a n t l y forming, t e s t i n g , and a c c e p t i n g or r e j e c t i n g hypotheses observes  about the responses he  (p. 42) ( t h i s i s done c o n f i d e n t i a l l y ) .  the i n t e r v i e w i s complete  such hypotheses  After  can be j o t t e d  down and undergo f u r t h e r changes i f necessary.  30  While fallible  interviewing  measuring  substantial  interests,  instrument which  e r r o r s and b i a s e s  in gathering  (i960)  i s , a s Kahn  ( p . 20)  i t has g r e a t  of people.  Such  w o u l d be d i f f i c u l t t o c o l l e c t by any o t h e r K.  following  on t h e d a t a p r e s e n t e d i n t h i s generalizations  backgrounds  of students  The models  1.  exert a strong skills. early  Hall  readers  on a d a i l y  and T e a l e  information means.  (1976)  p r o v i d e d by p a r e n t s  (1978)  (1958)  and s i b l i n g s  (1981)  d e s c r i b e d homes  i n infancy 2.  long periods and w r i t i n g Durkin  concluded that (including  the e a r l y )  o f time d i s c u s s i n g  (I966)  were r e g u l a r  in written  and e n c o u r a g i n g Both C l a r k  discussions activities  about  readers. aloud  English.  of early readers  of c h i l d r e n .  (I966) f o u n d t h a t  r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g  Durkin  c h i l d r e n who were o f t e n r e a d  and s i b l i n g s  activities  or s i b l i n g s  a l l members o f t h e f a m i l i e s  a c h i e v e d h i g h e r marks  The p a r e n t s  of'  where c h i l d r e n e x p e r i e n c e d p r i n t  and o f t e n o b s e r v e d p a r e n t s  found that  t h e home  on c h i l d r e n ' s r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g  and T a y l o r  as p l a c e s  basis  about r e s e a r c h i n t o  c a n be made.  influence  early readers  Monk  the  feelings,  c h a p t e r the  engaged i n r e a d i n g o r w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s .  to  value  SUMMARY Based  of  a  i s subject to  data concerning the a t t i t u d e s ,  and m o t i v a t i o n s  notes,  spent  the r e a d i n g (1976) a n d  and h e l p  with  o f c h i l d r e n were common  31  occurrences  i n t h e homes t h e y e n c o u n t e r e d . also  (1979)  achievers,  t h e c h i l d r e n were e n c o u r a g e d t o r e a d by f a m i l y  3. skill  d e v e l o p m e n t were s t r o n g l y  Monk (1958)  of higher  activities.  C h i l d r e n who p o s s e s s e d  writing activities  i n t h e homes  Durkin,  and Kenyon  members a n d f a m i l y  found t h a t  Clark,  s u p e r i o r r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g i n t e r e s t e d i n r e a d i n g and  a n d p a r t i c i p a t e d i n them q u i t e  found t h a t  the higher a c h i e v i n g w r i t e r s  he e x a m i n e d :  (a) p r e f e r r e d r e a d i n g a s a mode o f  information,  (b) w r o t e more l e t t e r s  and  situation language home,  that  development:  (b) h i g h l y  child  the parents  than the parents  (1980)  includes  families  ( I 9 6 6 )  and  home  superior l i v i n g at  (c) b e i n g the o l d e s t  and H a l l  (1976)  found  o f e a r l y r e a d e r s were more h i g h l y  educated  o f t h o s e who d i d n o t r e a d e a r l y .  Thompson  and the I n s t i t u t e  Activities (which  Durkin  with  (a) b o t h p a r e n t s  educated parents,  i n the f a m i l y .  (1979)  group,  group.  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are associated skill  getting  than d i d the  R e s e a r c h has shown t h e t h r e e f o l l o w i n g  4 .  which  t h a n an i n f e r i o r  ( c ) s p e n t more t i m e r e a d i n g f o r p l e a s u r e  lower a c h i e v i n g  regularly.  assert  language  f o r Development that  of Educational  the academic performance  skill)  o f c h i l d r e n f r o m two p a r e n t  was s u p e r i o r t o t h e p e r f o r m a n c e o f c h i l d r e n from  one-parent  families.  Taylor  (1981)  a n d Monk  (1958)  assert  3 2  that  firstborn  relating  to  5.  c h i l d r e n r e c e i v e more a t t e n t i o n from  r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g  The homes  of  superior readers  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by r e a d i l y materials and H a l l  found t h a t  ( 1 9 7 6 )  materials  and c o u l d u s u a l l y  essential  part  group  she  parental  were u s u a l l y  investigated  i n the  7.  company  Superior  of  able  (b)  as  to  age.  Lange  and K r u g l o v  Gage  ( I 9 6 3 ) ,  intelligence  is  skill.  ( 1 9 5 8 )  the  to  children  books were place  an  in  superior  work e f f e c t i v e l y  the  having  powers  of  (c)  a powerful  have  having  making  McCarthy  ( 1 9 5 0 ) ,  superior writers  (a)  and Monk  in  own. been  intelligence  future plans  ( 1 9 5 ^ ) ,  ( 1 9 5 8 )  early  content  also  high  at  Deiderich have  ( 1 9 6 7 )  found  i n t h e i r samples  found t h a t , were g i r l s  an ( 1 9 5 7 ) ,  i n f l u e n c e on r e a d i n g and  and Maloney  a  concentration  be  o r on t h e i r  and w r i t e r s as  readers  d e s c r i b e d the  ( I 9 7 6 )  others  being g i r l s ,  early  Monk  newspapers  which took  shown t h a t  Clark  readers  d e s c r i b e d by r e s e a r c h e r s ratings,  ( 1 9 5 8 )  permission.  and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y w h i c h e n a b l e d them t o either  writing  Monk  accessible  experiences with  r e s e a r c h has  o r by t h e m s e l v e s .  readers  r e a d i n g and  were  readers.  Previous  and w r i t e r s  that  levels.  and w r i t e r s  magazines,  were r e a d i l y  of the a c t i v i t i e s  of e a r l y 6.  books,  be used w i t h o u t  stated  ( 1 9 7 6 )  homes  accessible  higher  and many e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h b o o k s .  and w r i t i n g  Clark  and a c h i e v e  parents  that writing  generally,  and  that  33  superior writers y o u n g e r age 8. of  t e n d e d t o make t h e i r f u t u r e p l a n s  than d i d the  Previous  lower a c h i e v i n g  research suggests  s u p e r i o r r e a d e r s and w r i t e r s  evenly  over a v a r i e t y  (1958)  found t h a t  is  at  writers.  that  a characteristic  budgeting  their  time  of r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s .  higher  achieving writers  Monk  budgeted  their  t i m e more e v e n l y t h a n d i d l o w e r a c h i e v i n g w r i t e r s . also  concluded that  time v i e w i n g company 9.  higher achieving writers  t e l e v i s i o n and s p e n t  of t h e i r peers than d i d the The p a r e n t s  exhibited strong  of  parents.  that  the a t t i t u d e  e d u c a t i o n a l work  is  Burt  toward a c h i l d ' s  school progress.  Monk  of e a r l y readers  with t h e i r roles  as  in  parents.  the writers.  writers of  their  with their  ( I 9 6 9 )  home f a c t o r w h i c h  he f o u n d t h e p a r e n t s  and s a t i s f i e d  cites  less  lower a c h i e v i n g  of s a t i s f a c t i o n  ( 1 9 7 0 )  the  time  i n the s c h o o l p r o g r e s s  of parents  most t o t h e c h i l d ' s that  deal  Goodacre  total  He  spent  s u p e r i o r r e a d e r s and  interest  c h i l d r e n and a g r e a t as  less  a  in  roles  saying  day-to-day  contributes ( 1 9 5 8 )  states  t o be c o n t e n t  CHA PTER THREE: A.  DESCRIPTION The  four  METHODOLOGY  OF THE STUDY  purpose  of this  s t u d y was t o f i n d  answers t o  questions: 1)  Which r e a d i n g  and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s  home by c h i l d r e n a n d t h e i r associated or 2)  family  done a t  members a r e  w i t h e i t h e r more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  less effective writers?  What m a t e r i a l s  i n t h e home o r r e g u l a r  of the household are associated more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  with  events either  or less, e f f e c t i v e  writers? 3)  What l e i s u r e - t i m e children, with  t h e i r parents,  done a t home by  or both are a s s o c i a t e d  e i t h e r more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  effective 4)  activities  writers?  What a r e t h e o p i n i o n s roles  i n helping  of reading  their  o f p a r e n t s about  In  order  and w r i t i n g w h i c h a r e a s s o c i a t e d  information  a questionnaire  subsequently administered students  or l e s s  writers?  to gather  these questions  their  c h i l d r e n l e a r n the s k i l l s  e i t h e r w i t h more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s effective  or l e s s  that  answer  was d e s i g n e d and  to the parents  i n g r a d e s s i x and s e v e n .  34  would  These  o f a sample o f s t u d e n t s had  35  been i d e n t i f i e d by t h e i r t e a c h e r s or  "less  effective writers".  completed,  of  two-sample  by g r o u p  less test  for  Interviews  statistical of  the  was  of  the  differences  of  random  additional  students  which  gather.  below d e s c r i b e s  the approximate  on e a c h p a r t  t h e summer m o n t h s , but d u r i n g the  writers  used.  gather  t h e home b a c k g r o u n d s  of time spent  project,  groups  as  Kolmogorov-Smirnov  significance  in order to  a q u e s t i o n n a i r e - could not  During  well  were c o n d u c t e d w i t h a s t r a t i f i e d  i n f o r m a t i o n about  The c h a r t  A  writers"  had been  ( g r o u p o f more e f f e c t i v e  of ten respondents  amounts  Once q u e s t i o n n a i r e s  effective writers).  between t h e r e s p o n s e s  sample  "more e f f e c t i v e  t h e y were c o l l e c t e d and t a b u l a t e d a s  cross-tabulated or group  as  full  of  the  and  project.  d a y s were s p e n t  school year  dates  t i m e was  on t h e  quite  limited. B.  TIMELINE FOR  School  district  Questionnaire  STUDY permission  to  conduct  development  study  J u l y - August July  Questionnaire  Administration Interview Interviews  piloting:  of  conducted  -  1982 1981  August  1982  stage  one  July  August  1981  stage  two  May  June  1982  June  1983  June  1983  August  1983  questionnaire  questions  - April  development  May  36  C.  SAMPLE The  grades  study sampled parents of s e l e c t e d students i n  s i x and seven a t f o u r elementary  schools i n a large  B r i t i s h Columbia I n t e r i o r s c h o o l d i s t r i c t .  The reason f o r  choosing the parents of grade s i x and seven  students  was  t h a t such parents have c h i l d r e n t h a t have been i n the s c h o o l system l o n g enough t o have p a r t i c i p a t e d  i n many w r i t i n g  a c t i v i t i e s both a t home and a t s c h o o l .  These parents are  more l i k e l y to have had experiences with, and have opinions about, t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s involvement  in writing  activities.  Four d i f f e r e n t s c h o o l s were s e l e c t e d t o provide a  statistically  l a r g e enough sample and to supply a d i v e r s i t y of home environments and The  socio-economic  circumstances  f o r the  study.  f o u r s c h o o l s served a suburban community, a s e m i - r u r a l  community near a l a r g e r c e n t e r , a s m a l l r e s o r t town, and a combined suburban community and  r u r a l area.  p l a c e d i n t o groups by t h e i r t e a c h e r s a f t e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n was  Students were careful  g i v e n t o each student's o v e r a l l  i n w r i t t e n composition  (Appendix  ability  J l i s t s a l l of the g u i d e l i n e s  which t e a c h e r s used t o make these d e c i s i o n s ) .  In each of  the f o u r s c h o o l s , t e n students a t each grade l e v e l formed a group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s , making a t o t a l group of 80 more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  In the same way,  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were chosen,  80  less  b r i n g i n g the t o t a l number  37  of  s e l e c t e d students  students D.  t o 160.  The p a r e n t s  o f these  formed the sample.  QUESTIONNAIRE DEVELOPMENT W o n d e r i n g a b o u t w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e home  of  students  they  write  h a s any i n f l u e n c e on t h e s k i l l prompted t h e c u r r e n t s t u d y .  exploring this with by  colleagues  Monk  ( 1 9 5 8 ) ,  a r e a were d e v e l o p e d  2)  i n consultation research  Durkin  ( 1 9 7 6 ) .  their  Background  ( I 9 6 6 ) ,  and C l a r k f o rthis  study  conditions  were  done  designed  of children  parents, information  about r e a d i n g  (including  questions  and w r i t i n g m a t e r i a l s  i n t h e home, a n d p a r e n t s '  3)  At-home l e i s u r e  k)  Parental opinions their  which  Questions  R e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s and  with  and by e x a m i n i n g s i m i l a r  Four c a t e g o r i e s o f q u e s t i o n s 1)  background  activities  i n t h e home, education),  o f c h i l d r e n , and  about t h e i r  roles i n helping  c h i l d r e n l e a r n the s k i l l s  o f r e a d i n g and  writing. A copy is E.  found  o f the f i n a l v e r s i o n o f the q u e s t i o n n a i r e  i n A p p e n d i x A.  PILOTING OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE The  initial,  questionnaire  was p i l o t e d  i n two s t a g e s .  longer v e r s i o n o f the q u e s t i o n n a i r e  was  An piloted  38  using  a class  o f t e a c h e r s who were  completing a graduate  professional  d u r i n g a summer s c h o o l o f an o r i g i n a l  family  habits, future  because  rooms  children's plans  writing  t h e y were  i n the  f o r the  children.  experiences.  A group  Many o f  of parents  services  as  teaching  staff  helpers  questionnaire  judged l e s s  from  important  at  it  of  schools  helped to  volunteered  While  identify  from the q u e s t i o n n a i r e  as  a result  some  and  the  this  is  a  weaknesses For  income was  of t h i s  their  library  piloted  concerning family  were  suggestions.  where f u r t h e r e d i t i n g was n e e d e d .  a question  child's  remaining questions  a result  second s t a g e .  and  thirty-one  the  i n an e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l  the  jobs,  The r e m a i n i n g  the  topics  reading  children's  who r e g u l a r l y  i n the t a r g e t  skewed p o p u l a t i o n ,  of  twenty-two  were d e l e t e d  home, p a r e n t s '  reading habits,  r e w o r d e d o r r e s t r u c t u r e d as  example,  a result,  were more d i r e c t l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h  and p l a c e s  course  w h i c h were d e l e t e d c o n c e r n e d s u c h  size,  questions  As  of  questions.  Questions as  session.  education  f i f t y - t h r e e questions  the q u e s t i o n n a i r e than other  i n the p r o c e s s  second  deleted stage  piloting. Additionally,  several questions  some m i n o r a d j u s t m e n t s in wording  or  were made  in deleting part  of  to the  39  question.  T h e r e was a l s o  questionnaire parents F.  a s e c t i o n added t o  concerning the types  do on t h e  job or a t  which  METHOD OF QUESTIONNAIRE ADMINISTRATION  home t o p a r e n t s  the group less  of w r i t i n g  home.  A covering l e t t e r explaining sent  the  of p u p i l s  who h a d b e e n p l a c e d  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  effective writers.  letter).  the q u e s t i o n n a i r e  (Appendix  or the group B contains  The l e t t e r s were a d d r e s s e d  to provide  t h e most e x t e n s i v e  i n f o r m a t i o n about  background  and e x p e r i e n c e s  their children.  anonymous. on t h e  that  the mother would  t h e i r responses  were  envelopes  seal  the  e n v e l o p e w h i c h was in  one w h i c h was a l s o  its  the  completely  provided.  envelope  After writing  e n v e l o p e , t h e y were a s k e d  questionnaire  to  secretary  c h e c k e d t h e names envelopes.  into  a  off  a master  list  in a  insert larger  their  names  t o r e t u r n the  the s c h o o l w i t h t h e i r c h i l d r e n . t h e n c o l l e c t e d the  or  Parents  p r o v i d e d and t h e n t o  on t h e l a r g e r  larger  able  completed q u e s t i o n n a i r e  sealed  of  Parents  i n w h i c h t h e y were r e t u r n e d .  the q u e s t i o n n a i r e  school  be  No names were w r i t t e n on q u e s t i o n n a i r e s  were r e q u e s t e d t o smaller  of  covering  t o the mothers  since  were r e a s s u r e d  i n most c a s e s  into  of  the  the p u p i l s  was  The  questionnaires, and d i s c a r d e d  the  When t h e r e s e a r c h e r r e c e i v e d t h e  40  questionnaires,  t h e y were s e a l e d  and the a n o n y m i t y Follow-up  i n unmarked  o f the r e s p o n d e n t s  was  envelopes,  thus  on u n r e t u r n e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e s  protected.  was  carried  out by t h e p r i n c i p a l o r a p e r s o n whom he d e s i g n a t e d e a c h s c h o o l and t h e who r e m i n d e d t h o s e after this  classroom  a week had e l a p s e d .  p r o v e d t o be r e a s o n a b l y rate  which q u e s t i o n n a i r e s i n the  group  much h i g h e r the group  of  o v e r 75  at  (65  questionnaires  were answered  76 G.  of  (81  which p a r e n t s  percent).  making  160  c a n be  seen  The r a t e  at  of  students  percent) of  returned  One h u n d r e d  cases  students  rate  in  their  twenty-one  and r e t u r n e d from t h e  the response  was  f o r the  whole  sample  percent. INTERVIEW DEVELOPMENT Questions  those  best  suited  AND PILOTING to  use  i n the  c o n c e r n i n g t h e more s u b j e c t i v e  environment, uncover.  those  All  were d e s i g n e d as  percent.  effective writers  questionnaires  sample  questionnaires  were r e t u r n e d by p a r e n t s  than the r a t e less  students,  In most  e f f e c t i v e , as  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  of  of the  who had n o t r e t u r n e d t h e  approximately  from a r e s p o n s e  teachers  in  starting  aspects  which a q u e s t i o n n a i r e  of the q u e s t i o n s  used  for  of  could  i n the  t o be o p e n - e n d e d so t h a t  points  interviews  were  home not  interviews  they could  e x p l o r a t i o n and d i s c u s s i o n  serve of  41  c h i l d r e n ' s w r i t i n g experiences. questions 1)  T o p i c s which the  concerned were: Help which parents gave when t h e i r c h i l d r e n were doing w r i t i n g at home  2)  Help which parents gave to t h e i r c h i l d r e n when they were i n i t i a l l y l e a r n i n g to read  3)  More i n f o r m a t i o n about how c h i l d r e n spent their out-of-school  time  4)  The c h i l d ' s e a r l y experiences  in reading  5)  Information about d i s c u s s i o n s  between parents  and teachers which may or may not have taken place 6)  Information about steps taken by parents to t h e i r c h i l d when they encountered  help  difficulties  with schoolwork 7)  More i n f o r m a t i o n about c h i l d r e n ' s viewing  television  habits  8)  P a r e n t s ' opinions about the purpose of  9)  D e s c r i p t i o n s of c h i l d r e n and t h e i r to c e r t a i n  10)  reactions  situations  How the schools might b e t t e r about what i s happening at  (A complete  education  inform parents  school  i n t e r v i e w agenda i s found i n Appendix C)  The i n t e r v i e w e r p i l o t e d the  i n t e r v i e w procedure  42  with  friends  the wording clarity voice were H.  and a c q u a i n t a n c e s .  As a r e s u l t  of c e r t a i n questions  a n d ambiguous q u e s t i o n s  and mannerisms  of  piloting,  was c h a n g e d t o  improve  were r e w o r d e d .  w h i c h made r e s p o n d e n t s  Tones  of  uncomfortable  eliminated. METHOD OF INTERVIEW ADMINISTRATION Ten p a r e n t s  sampling  were c h o s e n u s i n g  technique.  following  This  a stratified  sampling  t e c h n i q u e employed the  steps: 1.  A l l questionnaire  a two d i g i t 2.  respondents  3.  Using  a table  males  The g r o u p  sample  (n=l60)  and f e m a l e s  o f random n u m b e r s ,  assigned  i n percentages  and i n p e r c e n t a g e s  Respondents  or l e s s  respondents  purposes.  of interviewees  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s 4..  were  number.  were s e l e c t e d f o r i n t e r v i e w i n g  the  random  (n=10)  matched  of parents  who were  effective  of  parents  writers.  were s e l e c t e d u n t i l  the matching  d e s c r i b e d above was c o m p l e t e d . This  procedure ensured that  number o f m a l e s numbers first  and f e m a l e s  t h e r e was a p r o p o r t i o n a t e i n the i n t e r v i e w group  of selected students.  by l e t t e r  (a copy o f t h i s  Interviewees letter  D) and t h e n by t e l e p h o n e t o a r r a n g e the  interviews  to take  place.  is  were  found  t o the  contacted i n Appendix  a convenient time  for  43  I.  RATIONALE Questions  topics  on t h e n e w l y - c r e a t e d s u r v e y  o f r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s ,  information, Topic  leisure-time activities,  1 :  Reading  and W r i t i n g  The i n i t i a l s e c t i o n twenty-one q u e s t i o n s which took p l a c e Four of habits,  six  students,  home  activities  respondents.  dealt with parents'  the q u e s t i o n s  were a b o u t  i n t e r a c t e d w i t h t h e i r c h i l d r e n c o n c e r n i n g the c h i l d r e n do f o r  each d e a l i n g w i t h s t u d e n t s ' w i t h which p a r e n t s mentioned  contained  writing  them c o n c e r n e d t h e w r i t i n g e x p e r i e n c e s  and s e v e n o f  assignments  school.  how  T h e r e were two  homework h a b i t s  2 ,  both Durkin  ( 1 9 6 6 )  not  r e a d e a r l y . Monk  reached higher  levels  t h a n i n t h e homes o f also  ( 1 9 5 8 )  As  and C l a r k  Monk  of achievement.  overall s k i l l  ( 1 9 5 8 )  the  t h o s e who  determined that  Questions to  and c h i l d r e n who do n o t  r e l a t i o n to  in  ( 1 9 7 6 )  did  those  who had  t h a n had t h o s e who r e a c h e d  e x p l o r e r e a d i n g a l o u d by p a r e n t s themselves  questions  of achievement i n w r i t t e n E n g l i s h  been r e a d t o more r e g u l a r l y lower l e v e l s  parents  and t h e f r e q u e n c y  f o u n d t h a t more r e a d i n g a l o u d b e h a v i o r t o o k p l a c e readers  of  written  read aloud to t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  in Chapter  homes o f e a r l y  opinions.  Activities  on t h e r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g  i n t h e homes o f  the  background  and p a r e n t a l  o f the q u e s t i o n n a i r e  these questions of  dealt with  in  and G o o d a c r e  i n the c u r r e n t  c h i l d r e n who r e a d read f o r  themselves  writing. ( 1 9 7 0 )  found that  the  study for in  44  amount to  of  time  spent  the s t u d e n t s '  present spent  study  age  asks q u e s t i o n s  interest  of f o u r .  initial  In  interest  classified  i n l e a r n i n g how t o  among e a r l y  This  is,  which s c h o o l s attempted to  also  f i n d o u t what  six  e n t e r i n g grade  students  one.  prior  to grade  Seven q u e s t i o n s  order of  assignment  the of  writers  study.  Durkin  p r i n t i n g way  of  to  those  effective  opposite  usually  the  same  the  order  The c u r r e n t  study  l e a r n i n g the  effective Durkin  all  printed  early readers  The p r e s e n t w h i c h was  study  p r i o r to and what  (1966)  ascertained  a c h i e v e d by  one who were l a t e r effective  in  skills  and s e v e n l e v e l .  were a s k e d  i n t h e home j u s t  of a w r i t i n g  the  printing ability  more e f f e c t i v e and l e s s  place  among  w i t h more e f f e c t i v e and l e s s  the grades  l e v e l of  readers,  at  t h e ages  in this  t e a c h them.  reported that nearly  before the  at  o u t what  is  tended  o r t h e y were l e a r n e d a t  course,  usually  associated  writers  of  The  done.  print  l e a r n i n g how t o p r i n t  learned before reading time.  is  early readers  q u e s t i o n was a s k e d  that  related  how much t i m e  a s more e f f e c t i v e and l e s s  a similar  determined  is  about  order to f i n d in  was  in written English.  (1966) f o u n d t h a t  initial  are,  achievement  on homework and how o f t e n homework Durkin  show  on homework a s s i g n m e n t s  classified  as  writers.  a b o u t what  events  and d u r i n g t h e events  took  completion  regularly  took  45  place  a t home when a w r i t t e n a s s i g n m e n t w h i c h h a d a l r e a d y  received  a mark f r o m  were a b o u t s u c h their children  a t e a c h e r was b r o u g h t  of help parents  during the completion  of a written  q u e s t i o n s as these  w r i t i n g h a b i t s o f p a r e n t s were a l s o  frequency  Questions  and t y p e s  2:  on t h e s k i l l were a s k e d  of writing  Home B a c k g r o u n d  T h e r e was a t o t a l the questionnaire.  o f twelve  with  about  letter  done a t home and  i n t h e home, t h r e e  experiences  o f m o t h e r s who worked  them c o n c e r n e d  parents  Information  questions  Two o f them a s k e d  chalkboards  of  e x p l o r e d as  work by m o t h e r s . Topic  of  part o f the w r i t i n g  by s t u d e n t s .  which c h i l d r e n w r i t e .  at  Such  e x p l o r a t i o n , but  that this  an a r e a t h a t c o u l d have an e f f e c t  writing  gave  c o u l d have been a n i n f l u e n c e on t h e q u a l i t y o f  work p r o d u c e d The  t o h i s work.  have h a d l i t t l e  r e s e a r c h suggests  process  Questions  t o p i c s as t h e types  a s s i g n m e n t , and t h e i r r e s p o n s e s  recent  home.  the presence  a b o u t books a n d  o u t s i d e t h e home, t h r e e  o f children's  natural  i n t h e home, a n d f o u r q u e s t i o n s were a b o u t t h e  s t a t e d i n Chapter  availibility that  part  o f them d e a l t w i t h t h e  e d u c a t i o n a l and o c c u p a t i o n a l l e v e l s As  i n this  2,  Monk  (1958)  o f books f o r c h i l d r e n  a relationship  existed  of parents. examined t h e  a t home a n d s t a t e d  between t h e number o f books  46  for  c h i l d r e n i n t h e home a n d t h e w r i t t e n a c h i e v e m e n t o f  students. (1966)  Durkin reader  found  i n her study  t h a t t h e home o f e v e r y  contained  such an i n t e r e s t i n g r e s u l t attempted  a chalkboard.  T h i s was  that the present  t o a s c e r t a i n i fthere  study  was a n y t e n d e n c y f o r t h e  homes o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s t o c o n t a i n Several  researchers  have  which mothers w o r k i n g o u t s i d e different  areas  o f student  home a n d t h e i r  Clark  readers this  worked.  attained  order  Fraser  study  i sgeneral  i n c o n c l u s i v e , and  a s k s q u e s t i o n s on  study  level  progress  investigates this  question  subject.  a g r e e m e n t between Monk (195 8 ) a n d  that the father's occupation  that there  ( 1 9 5 8 )  i s known a b o u t i t .  o f i n f l u e n c e on h i s c h i l d ' s  states calls  this  ( 1 9 7 3 )  Monk  i srelated t o children's  The c u r r e n t  ( 1 9 7 3 )  progress,  states that the educational  ( 1 9 7 3 )  to clarify  There  kind  The p r e s e n t  by p a r e n t s  at s c h o o l .  Fraser  few o f t h e m o t h e r s o f e a r l y  t o p i c t o augment what Fraser  in  that  i n affecting  mothers working o u t s i d e t h e  on t h i s q u e s t i o n  found  ( 1 9 7 6 )  t h e home p l a y s  children's school  found h i s r e s u l t s  chalkboards.  investigated the role  achievement.  f o u n d no r e l a t i o n s h i p between  early  e x e r t s some  school progress.  Monk  i s a " d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p " and F r a s e r  i ta "close r e l a t i o n s h i p " .  Clark  (19?6)  found a  47  great  diversity  of occupations  early  readers.  The  the  e x p l o r a t i o n o f the  mothers of s t u d e n t s  has  area, t h e p r e s e n t  types  o f j o b s h e l d by Topic Two  habits  3s  students  been done b e f o r e .  study asked  we  concerned  source  w i t h how  selectively  leisure  who  t h o s e who television  do  they  not  read  achieved  time 2 ,  a l s o watch early.  lower  J u s t what e f f e c t  restrictions,  about which and  was  one  activities  question  spent.  Durkin  r e a d e r s watch  ( 1 9 6 6 )  Clark  television  i t less  Monk  and  o f t e n than  ( 1 9 5 8 )  found  do  that  marks i n w r i t t e n E n g l i s h w a t c h e d  more o f t e n t h a n  skill  viewing  the p a r t o f the q u e s t i o n n a i r e  that early and  the  of s t u d e n t s ' i n f o r m a t i o n about  d e s c r i b e d i n Chapter found  about  mothers.  s i x questions  made up  by  Therefore, to  questions  c h o o s e t o do when a l o n e ,  events  on t h e  held  television  world  marks.  occupations  q u e s t i o n s concerning the  the  those  knowledge  Activities  dealing with  ( 1 9 7 6 )  t o the  L e i s u r e Time  of students,  As  i s t o add  about  have.  Little  this  f a t h e r s of  purpose of a s k i n g q u e s t i o n s  father's occupation  already  among t h e  d i d t h o s e who  achieved might  have  w i t h w h i c h c h i l d r e n w r i t e as w e l l a s  what  i f any,  were t h e p u r p o s e s  t e l e v i s i o n viewing  higher  a r e p l a c e d on c h i l d r e n ' s v i e w i n g  f o r a s k i n g about t e l e v i s i o n  viewing  explore  48  i n the p r e s e n t Durkin  study. found t h a t  ( I 9 6 6 )  p r e f e r r e d to p l a y  she to  stated that  when a l o n e , this  topic Monk  Clark  ( 1 9 7 6 )  early readers  h i g h marks rather  solitary  a series  supported t h i s  of s i x  this  see what s o u r c e less  questions  students  get  s t u d y was  students  effective writers  world  and c h o i c e s  ability  of  was a s k e d  activities about  who had a c h i e v e d  most o f  Consequently,  i n the p r e s e n t  f i n d i n g when  To e x p l o r e f u r t h e r t h e  in w r i t t e n E n g l i s h tended t o  about w o r l d e v e n t s .  did  study.  found t h a t  than l i s t e n i n g to  who  she e x a m i n e d had an  behavior,  i n the c u r r e n t ( 1 9 5 8 )  participate  when a l o n e t h a n were t h o s e  o c c u p y t h e m s e l v e s when a l o n e .  whole a r e a o f  both  a l o n e and were more a b l e t o  in quiet a c t i v i t i e s not read e a r l y .  early readers  use  their  reading information  the q u e s t i o n  simply  classified  used t o g e t  concerning  a follow-up, as  to  more e f f e c t i v e  their  information  or about  events. Topic _ The s e c t i o n  was made up ofs satisfaction  of  questions  Opinions  of the q u e s t i o n n a i r e (a)  two q u e s t i o n s  of parents with  r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g , amount  Parents'  interest  (b)  that  c o n c e r n i n g the  school  a single students  on p a r e n t a l . o p i n i o n s  instruction  q u e s t i o n about show i n s c h o o l ,  d e a l i n g w i t h what a c t i v i t i e s  the i d e a l  in the (c)  five  parent  4 9  should  do,  and  activities  (d)  that  eight  parents  As was m e n t i o n e d found t h a t  parents  with school  of  questions felt  i n s t r u c t i o n as  who d i d n o t r e a d e a r l y . study  were d e s i g n e d Clark  parents homes  early  Goodacre motivation  to give  (1970) f e l t  to help to  that  in their  Questions  which the p r e s e n t  students current  on t h i s  issue.  i n t e r a c t i o n between  as  c h i l d r e n at  how m o t h e r s  of  finding  home management  children's  the  the p a r e n t s '  study  asks  explore  i n which they d e a l  eight  order to  view  questions  understand  about  c h i l d r e n should  out t h e a t t i t u d e s issues.  of  do was  o c c u r r e n c e s s u c h as  ones  grocery  better roles. opinions  designed  parents  s u c h as  their with  parental  The a c t i v i t i e s  from academic  the  education of  their parenting  an  role.  the way  home i n  parent's  e d u c a t i o n was  i n the  concerning a c t i v i t i e s  s e c t i o n range  in  of  to help  and f a t h e r s  A series  an e x a m i n a t i o n  understanding  motivation  c h i l d r e n as w e l l  everyday  satisfied  readers.  step  a way o f  verbal  of  i n the  information  that  important  their  r e a d e r s were n o t a s were t h e p a r e n t s  do.  ( 1 9 6 6 )  and c h i l d r e n was welcomed by t h e p a r e n t s  of  parents'  Durkin  2 ,  Two q u e s t i o n s  stated  ( 1 9 7 6 )  the  t h e i r c h i l d r e n should  in Chapter early  concerning  toward  covered i n homework  shopping.  as  this to  Responses  50  helped define p a r e n t s ' appropriate  order to like"  is  what t h e y  found  of  interest  shown by c h i l d r e n i n  their  ascertain  if  the  "enthusiastic"  of the e a r l y r e a d e r s ' and D u r k i n  ( 1 9 7 6 )  do.  an a r e a t o w h i c h one q u e s t i o n  quality  Clark  about  f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n to  The amount schooling  attitudes  ( I 9 6 6 )  and  carries  J.  ORGANIZATION types  questionnaire.  of  d a t a were c o l l e c t e d by  T h e r e was  quantifiable,  yielded was  of  t h e 58  and L i k e r t 1.  a)  scales.  For  Indicate write at 1. 2. 3. h.  a)  data.  in  the  This  it  information questions  example,  t h e number o f home.  l e t t e r s you  one o r more e a c h week one o r two e a c h month f e w e r t h a n one p e r month none - I use o t h e r means t o f r i e n d s and r e l a t i v e s or disagree  The i d e a l p a r e n t s h o u l d homework r e g u l a r l y . strongly disagree  data,  survey  to m u l t i p l e - c h o i c e  T e l l how much y o u a g r e e statement below. 2 9 .  the  data.  questions  directly quantifiable  c o l l e c t e d i n response  school.  i n o r d e r t o make  and non q u a n t i f i a b l e  Forty-nine  the  years  directly quantifiable  data which needed t r a n s l a t i o n  in  "adventure-  over the  u p p e r g r a d e s and f r o m t h e home t o  Three  devoted  home d e s c r i b e d by  i n t o the DATA  is  agree  contact  with  check h i s  agree strongly  usually  the child's  not sure disagree  51  Nine q u e s t i o n s of the 58 data that was  i n the survey  produced  q u a n t i f i a b l e a f t e r being t r a n s l a t e d .  Questions producing such data were e i t h e r s h o r t answer, f i l l - i n - t h e - b l a n k q u e s t i o n s , or a of m u l t i p l e choice and  fill-in-the-blank  as the f o l l o w i n g examples  ;  combination questions  illustrate.  1.  c)  7.  Which type of w r i t i n g l i s t e d below would you say your c h i l d does best? 1. 2. 3.  What other types of w r i t i n g do you at home?  4. 5« 6.  letters stories poems  do  notes diaries other (please d e s c r i b e )  A t h i r d type of data c o l l e c t e d by the q u e s t i o n n a i r e was  the u n s o l i c i t e d comments of p a r e n t s .  appeared  Such comments  on the back of the l a s t page or i n the body of  the q u e s t i o n n a i r e .  The  comment below was  w r i t t e n on the  back of the l a s t page of the q u e s t i o n n a i r e by a respondent: "I f e e l you are being d i s c r i m i n a t o r y by a s k i n g mothers t o f i l l  t h i s out.  Why  not e i t h e r p a r e n t ? "  Once a l l q u a n t i f i a b l e data had been d i r e c t l y after translation  (where necessary) the U n i v e r s i t y  B r i t i s h Columbia Data E n t r y S e r v i c e was  coded of  used t o e n t e r  the data i n t o the computer f o r subsequent  statistical  5 2  analysis. No d a t a Such the  c o l l e c t e d from i n t e r v i e w s  data took jotted  the  form o f  impressions  the r e s e a r c h e r .  This  of  short the  were q u a n t i f i e d .  answers t o q u e s t i o n s  interviewee's  i n f o r m a t i o n was  opinions  summarized  and by  in  w r i t t e n f o r m and r e p o r t e d a l o n g w i t h q u e s t i o n n a i r e  results  i n Chapter Four. K.  STATISTICAL  TREATMENTS  To a s c e r t a i n of  the  in  the q u e s t i o n n a i r e  three  factors  if  easily  and t h e s t u d e n t s '  p r o c e d u r e s were  was  be s p o t t e d  less  skill  for a l l  c o m p i l e d so t h a t  cross-tabulation g r o u p s were In  was  by g r o u p ,  isolated  and  order to decide  differences  test  was  variables trends  responses  and g r o u p  by  of  then employed.  Using  the  characteristics  o f the  two  described. if  g r o u p s were s t a t i s t i c a l l y Two Sample  writing  sample  of a l l  ( g r o u p o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s effective writers)  in  about  on a q u e s t i o n .  A more u s e f u l c r o s s - t a b u l a t i o n group  between any  employed.  frequency d i s t r i b u t i o n  on t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e could  existed  o f home e n v i r o n m e n t w h i c h were a s k e d  statistical A simple  associations  used.  t h e d i f f e r e n c e s between t h e significant It  a  Kolmogorov-Smirnov  t e s t e d the s i g n i f i c a n c e  between t h e r e s p o n s e s  of the group  o f more  of  the  53  effective  writers  and t h e r e s p o n s e s  effective  writers  on t h e v a r i a b l e s .  Statistics,  Sidney  Kolmogorov-Smirnov two  Siegel  independent samples  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  test  (in this and l e s s  same  distribution).  the Kolmogorov-Smirnov way t o  case  Because  which d i f f e r  differences  in c e n t r a l tendency, i n skewness,  etc.)  Kann-V.'hitney  U test  differences statistic, value  of  each  i n samples  was  which  step  (or  from  test  is  samples  (for  is  are  drawn  test  all. is  of  sensitive  differences  in dispersion,  differences as  sensitive  A two-tailed "Z"  score,  t h e two g r o u p s  that  efficient  example  particularly  have  explain  an  -  populations  the to  probability  and an  (D) between t h e maximum  functions  variable.  whether  chosen over such t e s t s  a Kolmogorov-Smirnov difference  the  t h e two g r o u p s  Two-sample  differences  it  that  i n any r e s p e c t a t  in c e n t r a l tendency.  the  cumulative for  Two-sample  less  Nonparametric  He goes on t o  the Kolmogorov-Smirnov  to v a r i o u s  his  of  effective writers)  d e t e r m i n e w h e t h e r two s m a l l  from p o p u l a t i o n s  group  determines  b e e n drawn f r o m t h e same p o p u l a t i o n w i t h the  In  explains  (1956)  Two-sample  of the  were  absolute  observed reported  CHAPTER FOUR: A.  RESULTS  INTRODUCTION Examination  of students  o f the r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g  activities  and p a r e n t s r e v e a l e d d i f f e r e n c e s between  members o f t h e g r o u p  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  and members  of the group  effective writers.  differences  are  of  less  summarized b e l o w u n d e r t h e h e a d i n g s  Variables, Variables  V a r i a b l e s Which A p p r o a c h e d Which Were Not  Significant  Little  but  in  the  on Which T h e r e Was  Difference. Significant  1. On t h e the  . 0 5  Variables  following variables l e v e l of  of the parents  responses  of p a r e n t s  Kolmogorov-Smirnov  a significant  c o n f i d e n c e ) was  responses  these  Significant  Significance,  H y p o t h e s i z e d D i r e c t i o n , and V a r i a b l e s  (at  These  difference  f o u n d between t h e  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  of l e s s  Two-Sample  effective writers. test  was  and t h e  A  used t o t e s t  for  differences. a)  More  effective writers  leisure  time w r i t i n g  spent  more o f  than d i d l e s s  their  effective  writers. b)  Parents their  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  c h i l d r e n more r e g u l a r l y  parents  of  less  than did  effective writers  c h i l d r e n had l e a r n e d t o r e a d f o r  5 4  read aloud  after  the the  themselves.  to  55  c)  The j o b s writers  h e l d by f a t h e r s were c l a s s e d  t h a n were t h e effective d)  jobs  as  h e l d by f a t h e r s  to  o f t e n than l e s s  Parents  effective  The the  group  effective  More  Two-Sample  effective writers  of  more s t r o n g l y effective  3.  Variables  a)  print  less  less  from  and t h e g r o u p  of  when t e s t e d  less with  test. showed an i n t e r e s t at  an e a r l i e r age  effective writers  than d i d the parents  writers  children's  that  parents  homework  in  than  agreed  o f more  should  check  regularly.  W h i c h Were Not S i g n i f i c a n t  Hypothesized  of  effective writers.  The p a r e n t s  their  instruction  d i f f e r e n c e s between r e s p o n s e s  l e a r n i n g how t o  b)  did.  Significance  approached s i g n i f i c a n c e  did less  viewing  expressed  than d i d the p a r e n t s  Which A p p r o a c h e d  a Kolmogorov-Smirnov a)  television  with reading  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s writers  less  writers.  Variables following  of  effective writers  satisfaction  i n the s c h o o l s  2.  chose  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  stronger  skilled  o c c u p y t h e m s e l v e s when a l o n e ,  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  e)  more h i g h l y  writers.  As an a c t i v i t y  less  o f more e f f e c t i v e  but  in  the  Direction  The m o t h e r s  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  reported  56  d o i n g more d i f f e r e n t k i n d s and a t  work t h a n d i d t h e m o t h e r s  effective Parents their  of  at  home  less  writers.  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  children's  regularly less  of w r i t i n g  read  w r i t t e n assignments  through  more  and c o n t a c t e d t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s  o f t e n than d i d the p a r e n t s  of  teacher  less'effective  writers. More  effective writers  were r e p o r t e d t o work  homework more o f t e n e a c h week t h a n were effective More their  on  less  writers.  effective writers parents  received less  with r e v i s i n g  w r i t t e n assignments  and  than d i d  help  from  proofreading  less  effective  writers. Parents their  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  c h i l d r e n before they  themselves effective In  could read  more o f t e n t h a n t h e p a r e n t s writers  t h e homes  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  effective  to  for of  less  did.  were more books f o r of l e s s  read aloud  c h i l d r e n than  there  i n the  homes  writers.  The e d u c a t i o n a l  l e v e l and o c c u p a t i o n a l  skill  level  by t h e m o t h e r s  effective  possessed  writers  was  higher  than the  o f more  levels  possessed  by  57  the mothers  of l e s s  effective writers.  More e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s w a t c h e d f e w e r h o u r s television placed  restrictions  on t h e i r t e l e v i s i o n v i e w i n g by  parents More  e a c h week and had more  than did the l e s s  effective writers  effective  their  writers.  were d e s c r i b e d as  a l o n e more o f t e n t h a n were l e s s  of  playing  effective  writers. More to  effective writers  outdoor  effective More  ones more s t r o n g l y  schooling  The p a r e n t s stronger  than did  activities less  writers.  effective writers  their  p r e f e r r e d indoor  t h a n were l e s s  than the parents  of  less  that  children  s h o u l d be r e a d t o r e g u l a r l y  when  and t h a t  c h i l d r e n should help at  as  about More  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  strongly  effective should  home by  small doing  chores.  The p a r e n t s agree  d i d w i t h the  expressed  ideas  regular  writers  in  effective writers.  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  agreement  effective  were more i n t e r e s t e d  writers  be a b l e  as  did the parents  with the  statement  of  not  less  that  children  t o make most o f t h e i r own c h o i c e s  books t o r e a d and p r o g r a m s t o skill  did  i n p r i n t i n g was  watch.  r e p o r t e d upon  grade  58  one e n t r y by more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s effective o)  More  periods  were l e s s p)  More  of  less  writers,  effective writers  longer  t h a n by  of  spend  t i m e on t h e i r homework  effective  the mothers  worked o u t s i d e  were r e p o r t e d t o  than  writers, o f more e f f e c t i v e  t h e home s i n c e  their  had b e e n b o r n t h a n had m o t h e r s  of  writers  children  less  effective  writers. q).  Fathers higher of  r)  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s levels  less  More  education than did  effective  alone  as  fathers  writers.  effective writers  reading  s)  of  possessed  an a c t i v i t y  were r e p o r t e d t o to  more o f t e n t h a n were  Making t h i n g s w i t h  choose  occupy themselves less  effective  t h e i r hands was  w h i c h was  c h o s e n more r e g u l a r l y  effective  writers  t h a n by t h e  an  when  writers.  activity  by t h e more  less  effective  .writers. t)  Parents agreed  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s that  parents  should  with school a c t i v i t i e s less u)  effective  Mothers  more  volunteer to  strongly help  than d i d the p a r e n t s  of  writers.  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  wrote  more f r e q u e n t l y t h a n d i d t h e m o t h e r s  of  letters less  59  effective v)  writers,  Parents of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  o f f e r e d more  help t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n with g e t t i n g s t a r t e d on w r i t i n g assignments effective w)  than d i d parents o f more  writers,  The parents of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s more strongly for  agreed t h a t c h i l d r e n should help pay  the b i l l s a t home than d i d the parents of  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s . Variables a)  Little  on Which There Was L i t t l e difference  Difference  between the order i n which  c h i l d r e n i n the two groups l e a r n e d the s k i l l s of r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g was b)  Little found  difference  i n the number of chalkboards  i n the homes of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and  the number found w r i t e r s was c)  found.  i n the homes of l e s s e f f e c t i v e  found.  Parents of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and parents of less effective writers  expressed the same s t r o n g  agreement with statements  t h a t parents should  help teach t h e i r c h i l d r e n r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g and parents should be aware of new t e a c h i n g methods. d)  Both the parents of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and the parents of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  strongly  60  agreed  that  c h i l d r e n should  when t h e y a r e e)  T h e r e was  be r e a d t o  small,  little  d i f f e r e n c e between t h e  h e l d by t h e p a r e n t s  o f more e f f e c t i v e  and t h e  opinions  writers  c o n c e r n i n g two  of parents  Both groups s t r o n g l y  of  less  and t h a t  agreed  that  Both groups less  strongly,  grocery B.  of parents that  writers  effective variabl  children asking  c h i l d r e n should  by c l e a n i n g t h e i r rooms  opinions  "children should"  c o m p l e t e t h e i r homework w i t h o u t questions  regularly  should  many  help at  and d o i n g r e g u l a r also  agreed,  c h i l d r e n should  home chores  although h e l p do t h e  shopping.  READING AND WRITING A C T I V I T I E S The t w e n t y - t w o  writing  activities  activities  questions  concerning reading  r e v e a l e d d i f f e r e n c e s between t h e  of the members'of  the group  o f more  writers  and t h e a c t i v i t i e s  o f t h e members  of  effective writers.  For example,  less  students  i n the group  more l e t t e r s , brought help  print,  of  effective  the  read through  of wrote  t h e w r i t t e n work t h a t o f f e r e d more  t h e i r c h i l d r e n with  and r e a d a l o u d t o  group  parents  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  home by t h e i r c h i l d r e n ,  in aiding  and  diversified  l e a r n i n g how  t h e i r c h i l d r e n before  c h i l d r e n could read f o r themselves  was  to their  more r e g u l a r l y  than  did parents writers.  of  students  Students  i n the group  i n the group  of l e s s  o f more e f f e c t i v e  brought  home more w r i t t e n a s s i g n m e n t s  to  d i d more d i f f e r e n t k i n d s  see,  often,  e x h i b i t e d an i n t e r e s t  an e a r l i e r a g e , longer the  periods  students  Parents'  Letters  not  but the  of the  1 it  i n the group letters  of the mothers  were n o t  writers  a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  a regular  writers  at  basis,  less  three  .05  mothers  writers  once p e r month w h i l e i n the group However,  l e v e l of  of  these  85  less  differences  confidence  using  Test.  than mothers wrote l e t t e r s  more l e t t e r s were w r i t t e n by t h e  of students  were  columns  91 p e r c e n t o f t h e  least  of  effective  o f more e f f e c t i v e  Two-Sample  i n the group  and t h i s  by m o t h e r s  of  last  students  the  fewer f a t h e r s  of students by f a t h e r s  of  the  reported t h i s .  significant  While  at  did  Habits  t h a n by m o t h e r s  By t o t a l l i n g  reported writing  effective  than  effective writers.  Letter Writing  c a n be s e e n t h a t  students  percent  less  at  e a c h week and  d i f f e r e n c e s between t h e two g r o u p s  significant.  in Table  parents  i n l e a r n i n g how t o p r i n t  were w r i t t e n more r e g u l a r l y  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s writers  of  writers  home more  on homework a s s i g n m e n t s  i n the group  1.  for their  of w r i t i n g at  and s p e n t more n i g h t s of time  effective  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  i n the group  was a s i g n i f i c a n t  of l e s s  on  fathers than  effective  difference.  Looking  6 2  Table The  1  letter writing  freauency of mothers expressed i n  percentage group  none  more effective  9  less effective  1 5  fewer than one'monthly  one or two monthly  3 8  o  4 4  3 3  2 0  3 1  1 0  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample D  Z  . 1 3 2 4  0 . 7 2 1  The  letter writing  one or more weekly  Test  p  decision NS  . 6 7 6  frequency of f a t h e r s expressed i n  percentage group  none  more effective less effective  fewer than one monthly  one or two monthly  4 5  3 9  7  2  7 7  1 7  4  3  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Z 1 . 4 2 7  one or more weekly  Test  D  p  decision  . 2 6 2 0  .034  Significant  6 3  at  the  first  percent  of the f a t h e r s  effective  writers  percentage the  group  (77 of  differences fathers level  column o f T a b l e 1 shows t h a t of students  less  a much  of the f a t h e r s  effective writers  of  students  in  The  frequencies  were s i g n i f i c a n t  of confidence using  o f more  larger  did t h i s .  between t h e l e t t e r w r i t i n g  i n t h e two g r o u p s  4 5  i n the g r o u p  wrote no l e t t e r s ,  percent)  while  at  of  the  a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  . 0 5  Two-Sample  Test. Mothers'  2.  Home and Work W r i t i n g  More w r i t i n g was mothers  of students  t h a n by t h e m o t h e r s effective the  writers  groups  students  percent)  of  2 indicates,  i n the group  writers  kinds  the groups  at  these  the  . 0 5  a larger  on t h i s  Test.  which mothers  of  of  less  d i f f e r e n c e s between l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e .  p r o p o r t i o n of  mothers  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  students  (33  of w r i t i n g  i n the group  of  at  home.  significant  at  a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  Appendix E l i s t s reported doing at  or  The d i f f e r e n c e s between  q u e s t i o n were n o t  confidence using  at  less  where 14 p e r c e n t r e p o r t e d d o i n g two  of w r i t i n g  l e v e l of  Sample  i n the group  r e p o r t e d d o i n g two o r t h r e e k i n d s  effective  . 0 5  students  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s -  but n e i t h e r of  home t h a n d i d m o t h e r s  three  home and a t work by t h e  i n the group  were s i g n i f i c a n t  As T a b l e of  done a t  Habits  the types home.  of  the Two-  writing  Examples  include  64  notes  to  family  members,  taking  record keeping for volunteer writing,  Table The  and o t h e r f o r m s  of  notes  for  study  organizations,  purposes,  poem and  story  writing.  2  home and work w r i t i n g  habits  of mothers  expressed  percentage writing group  8  no writing  „:«k.  effective  2 kinds of writing  3 6  2  Z  writing  48  „„ f? effective  6 2  '  at  3 2  2 3 ^  0 . 9 5 6  D . 1 7 5 6  decision  .797  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Z  *  Test  p  .1187  3 kinds of writing  6  Two-Sample  D  0.647  more effective  2 9 8  Kolmogorov-Smirnov  l e  home  1 kind of writing  3 0 4  at  NS  work  1 6  1 5  0  J  Two-Sample p . 3 2 0  Test decision IMS  in  65  Table 2 shows t h a t w r i t i n g which was was  done at work  done more r e g u l a r l y by mothers of students i n the  group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than by mothers of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  F i f t y - t w o percent  of the mothers of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s r e p o r t e d doing at l e a s t one k i n d of w r i t i n g at work while 39 percent of the mothers of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s r e p o r t e d t h i s . d i f f e r e n c e s were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the  These  .05 level  of  confidence using'a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t . Appendix E l i s t s the types of w r i t i n g which mothers r e p o r t e d doing at work.  Examples i n c l u d e l e t t e r  writing,  bookkeeping, c h a r t i n g (done by n u r s e s ) , r e p o r t w r i t i n g , and  other forms of w r i t i n g .  3.  P a r e n t a l Response to W r i t t e n Work Which Was When asked about t h e i r responses  assignments which were brought  Brought Home  to w r i t t e n  home w i t h marks on them  from t e a c h e r s , parents of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s i n d i c a t e d t h a t assignments such these were brought  home more r e g u l a r l y and  as  fewer c o n t a c t s  were made with t e a c h e r s to d i s c u s s such assignments than was  true i n the homes of students i n the group of l e s s  effective writers.  However, n e i t h e r of these  between the groups were s t a t i s t i c a l l y D i s c u s s i o n s w i t h respondents  differences  significant.  during i n t e r v i e w s a l s o  66  s t r o n g l y support these d i f f e r e n c e s .  Interviewees who  were parents of students i n the group o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s used such terms as "weekly" and " a l l the time" to d e s c r i b e how o f t e n t h e i r c h i l d r e n showed them w r i t t e n s c h o o l assignments  while the parents o f students i n the  group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s who were i n t e r v i e w e d d e s c r i b e d the frequency w i t h which they saw t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s work as "seldom" or "not o f t e n " . As can be seen i n Table 3» a l a r g e r p r o p o r t i o n of the students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  (51  percent)  than %he p r o p o r t i o n of students i n the group o f l e s s i  Table J The  frequency with which marked w r i t t e n assignments are  seen by parents expressed group  i n percentage  no never response  seldom  sometimes  regularly  more effective  3  13  32  51  less effective  2  31  32  33  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Test Z 0.417  D .0?66  p  decision .995  NS  6?  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s ( 3 3 percent) brought  home assignments  r e g u l a r l y f o r t h e i r parents to see; however, t h i s was not a s t a t i s t i c a l l y the  s i g n i f i c a n t difference at  . 0 5 l e v e l of confidence when t e s t e d w i t h a Kolmogorov-  Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t . Table 4 The  responses  o f parents t o the marked w r i t t e n assignments  of t h e i r c h i l d r e n expressed  i n percentage  read through the assignment group  no response  never  seldom  sometimes  regularly  more effective  87  less effective  17  73  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t Z  D  ,0877  .1611  p  decision  .425  * NS  contacted the teacher t o d i s c u s s the assignment more effective  54  25  13  less effective  38  40  12  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t Z  D  .0651  .1196  p .790  decision NS  Table 4 shows t h a t more parents of students i n the  68  group o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s r e a d through c h i l d r e n ' s assignments r e g u l a r l y  (87 p e r c e n t ) than d i d  the p a r e n t s o f s t u d e n t s i n the group o f l e s s w r i t e r s (73 p e r c e n t ) .  their  effective  The d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups  were n o t s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 l e v e l o f c o n f i d e n c e u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t . Fewer p a r e n t s o f s t u d e n t s i n t h e group o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (39 p e r c e n t ) r e p o r t e d t h a t they contacted t h e i r children's teachers to discuss w r i t t e n assignments t h a n d i d p a r e n t s o f s t u d e n t s i n t h e group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (54 p e r c e n t ) as can be seen by a d d i n g the l a s t t h r e e columns i n T a b l e 4.  These d i f f e r e n c e s  were n o t s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 l e v e l o f c o n f i d e n c e when t e s t e d w i t h a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t . 4.  Students' Leisure-Time W r i t i n g Habits  Students i n the group o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s spent l e i s u r e time w r i t i n g more o f t e n than d i d s t u d e n t s i n the group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and t h i s was, a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e ( a t the .05 l e v e l o f c o n f i d e n c e ) between the two groups. A m a j o r i t y (75 p e r c e n t ) o f t h e p a r e n t s o f s t u d e n t s i n t h e group o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e i r c h i l d r e n spent time once a month o r more o f t e n w r i t i n g d u r i n g t h e i r l e i s u r e time w h i l e j u s t over h a l f (52 p e r c e n t ) o f the p a r e n t s i n the group o f l e s s  effective  6 9  w r i t e r s reported  this.  This  i s revealed  l a s t three columns of Table. 5* the  by adding the  These d i f f e r e n c e s between  amounts of w r i t i n g done a t home by the groups were  s i g n i f i c a n t a t the . 0 5  l e v e l of confidence u s i n g a  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample  Test.  When questioned about the manner i n which t h e i r c h i l d r e n used t h e i r l e i s u r e time to w r i t e , i n d i c a t e d that  mothers  students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s more r e g u l a r l y spent t h e i r l e i s u r e time engaged i n w r i t i n g than d i d students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e writers. 5.  Students' E a r l y P r i n t i n g and Reading Experiences Questions about c h i l d r e n ' s  experiences i n d i c a t e d that effective writers  early printing  students i n the group of more  p r i n t e d more t h i n g s  upon e n t e r i n g  grade one, showed an e a r l i e r i n t e r e s t i n l e a r n i n g how to p r i n t , and were o f f e r e d more v a r i e d help i n l e a r n i n g how t o p r i n t than were students i n the group o f l e s s effective writers. the  None of these d i f f e r e n c e s between  groups were s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t . As  can be seen i n Table 6 , a l a r g e r percentage o f  mothers of students i n the group o f more e f f e c t i v e writers  (32  p e r c e n t ) than mothers of studnets i n the  group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  (15  percent)  reported  that t h e i r c h i l d r e n p r i n t e d most t h i n g s when they  Table 5 The frequency o f w r i t i n g d u r i n g the l e i s u r e time o f c h i l r e n expressed i n percentage group  no no response  never  more effective less effective  6  rarel\  once monthly  once weekly  every two days 1  23  28  29  10  42  20  10  14  once  daily or more o f t e n  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Test Z 1.381  D .2536  p .044  decision Significant.  -o o  71  Table  6  The s k i l l  i n p r i n t i n g w h i c h c h i l d r e n p o s s e s s e d upon  grade  entry expressed  one  group  no response  in  percentage  d i d not print  printed a few t h i n g s  printed most t h i n g s  more effective  67  32  less effective  77  15  K o l m o g o r o v - S m i r n o v Two-Sample T e s t Z  D  .0794  entered  grade  one.  .1458  Differences  g r o u p s r e s p o n d e d on t h i s significant  at  the  p  .05  decision  .554  i n the  NS  way t h e  v a r i a b l e were n o t  level  two  statistically  of confidence  using a  K o l m o g o r o v - S m i r n o v Two-Sample T e s t . Table students that  7 shows t h a t  i n the  34 p e r c e n t  of  effective  between the  of the  g r o u p o f more e f f e c t i v e  t h e i r c h i l d r e n showed  l e a r n i n g how t o  less  15 p e r c e n t  print  at  the  the mothers writers  g r o u p s were  an i n i t i a l ages  of  of students  writers interest  five  of  reported in  or s i x  while  i n the  group of  The  differences  reported t h i s . not  mothers  significant  at  the  .05  level  72  Table 7 The r e p o r t e d ages of i n i t i a l i n t e r e s t p r i n t expressed group  i n l e a r n i n g how to  i n percentage no response  three years  four years  five years  more effective  39  46  13  less effective  33  31  27  : six years  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t  of  Z  D  p  decision  1.200  .2205  .112  NS  confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Test, When asked about the order i n which t h e i r  children  learned the s k i l l s  of p r i n t i n g and r e a d i n g , a m a j o r i t y  of  I n d i c a t e d e i t h e r that p r i n t i n g was  the respondents  l e a r n e d f i r s t by t h e i r c h i l d r e n or t h a t the s k i l l s were l e a r n e d a t approximately  the same time.  Table 8 shows t h a t both the mothers o f students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and the mothers o f students i n the group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s gave very s i m i l a r responses at  and no s i g n i f i c a n t  differences  the . 0 5 l e v e l of confidence were found u s i n g a  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t .  73  Table 8 The  order i n which c h i l d r e n l e a r n e d the s k i l l s of  p r i n t i n g and r e a d i n g expressed group  no response  ™°rr  0  leSS  4  effective  i n percentage  printing then reading  a t the same time  reading then printing  43  41  16  y  17  effective  °  ^  '  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Z  D  .2 50  During  Test  p .0460  decision  .999  NS  i n t e r v i e w s with the t e n s e l e c t e d  respondents  q u e s t i o n s about the e a r l y r e a d i n g h a b i t s of c h i l d r e n were asked.  Most interviewees i n d i c a t e d t h a t they d i d  not attempt t o teach t h e i r p r e s c h o o l c h i l d r e n to read. Interviewees  d e s c r i b e d how e a r l y i n t e r e s t i n  r e a d i n g was shown by t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  The c h i l d r e n i n  the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were d e s c r i b e d as having a very a c t i v e i n t e r e s t  i n l e a r n i n g how t o read  by such phrases as: a)  he r e a l l y enjoyed  books,  b)  she p i c k e d out words and then  took  74  over the r e a d i n g c) The  she  on her own , and  o f t e n asked "What does t h a t  l e s s a c t i v e i n t e r e s t i n l e a r n i n g how  say?"  to read  of  the c h i l d r e n i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s was  described  by such phrases as:  a)  he watched Sesame S t r e e t q u i t e o f t e n ,  b)  he d i d n ' t  l e a r n to read u n t i l age  c)  he had  i n t e r e s t i n l e a r n i n g to read .  no  Parents were a l s o asked d u r i n g children reacted l e a r n i n g to read.  interviews  10 , and  about  to the help which they r e c e i v e d  how  while  Parents of students i n the group of  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d e s c r i b e d  the r e a c t i o n s of t h e i r  c h i l d r e n u s i n g such phrases as: a)  he d i d n ' t n o t i c e  it,  b)  i t was  as normal as  c)  he was  q u i t e e x c i t e d t o get  breathing, reading  help , d)  he would o f t e n ask we  e)  "Are  you  s u r e ? " when  answered h i s q u e s t i o n s , and  she was  eager to l e a r n .  Parents of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s could not  d e s c r i b e r e a c t i o n s s i n c e few  r e c a l l e d h e l p i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n l e a r n i n g to Most interviewees could not read  reported  of them read.  that t h e i r c h i l d r e n  upon e n t e r i n g grade one.  In both groups,  75  however, there was  a s i n g l e interviewee who  indicated  t h a t h i s or her c h i l d c o u l d read upon grade one  entrance.  Previous r e s e a r c h has found t h a t e a r l y readers often early writers also.  are  A q u e s t i o n f o r the survey  was  t h e r e f o r e designed to a s c e r t a i n whether or not more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s might a l s o be e a r l y w r i t e r s . Mothers were asked  to d e s c r i b e the k i n d of help  they gave t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n l e a r n i n g how  to p r i n t  (before t h e i r c h i l d r e n began formal i n s t r u c t i o n a t school in p r i n t i n g ) . these  They were asked  to s e l e c t from  options: 1)  I made no attempts to teach  2)  I showed my  3)  I l e t him  4)  c h i l d how  printing,  to form  letters,  or her experiment on h i s or  her own  and provided m a t e r i a l s , and  other:  f o r example, " p r i n t e d words then  u s i n g phonics, sounded them out" . (Appendix F l i s t s a l l of the responses  to p a r t f o u r of  this question. S i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n the responses groups to t h i s q u e s t i o n were found. (53  percent of the respondents)  showed t h e i r c h i l d r e n how The  Just over  of the  two  half  i n d i c a t e d t h a t they  to form l e t t e r s  (option  h e l p o f f e r e d by the mothers of students  2).  i n the group  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and by mothers of students i n  :  7 6  the  group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  the  way i t was d i s t r i b u t e d  was q u i t e s i m i l a r i n  among the c h o i c e s .  Since  more mothers o f students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e writers the  r e p o r t e d o f f e r i n g two or more kinds o f help,  help o f f e r e d  by the mothers o f students i n the group  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s help offered  was more d i v e r s i f i e d than the  by the mothers of students i n the group o f  less effective writers.  Using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  Sample Test, s t a t i s t i c a l l y the  .05  s i g n i f i c a n t differences  Twoat  l e v e l o f confidence were found i n the responses  of the two groups t o t h i s q u e s t i o n . In summary, the mothers of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s printed the  differences confidence.  i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e  children  writers,  which were s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 Although c h i l d r e n  effective writers  the  their  more t h i n g s upon e n t e r i n g grade one than d i d  children  interest  r e p o r t e d that  i n the group o f more  were r e p o r t e d t o e x h i b i t  i n learning  l e v e l of  earlier  how t o p r i n t than were c h i l d r e n i n  group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  and the mothers o f  students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s their children  more v a r i e d  help i n l e a r n i n g  offered  how to p r i n t  than the mothers of students i n the group o f l e s s effective writers  d i d , these d i f f e r e n c e s  s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  were not  l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e .  77  6.  Students' Homework H a b i t s  Respondents i n d i c a t e d t h a t students i n the group of more, e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d homework more o f t e n and spent longer p e r i o d s o f time on t h e i r homework than d i d the students i n the group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s but n e i t h e r o f these d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups were s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 l e v e l o f c o n f i d e n c e . Adding the l a s t two columns i n Table 9 shows t h a t a l a r g e r p r o p o r t i o n o f the mothers o f students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  (83 percent) than  mothers of students i n the group o f l e s s writers  effective  (62 percent) r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e i r c h i l d r e n  spent  Table 9 The  frequency with which c h i l d r e n worked on homework  assignments group  expressed  no response  -  i n percentage  once p e r week or less often  two or t h r e e nights per week  each s c h o o l night  more effective  0  17  33  50  less effective  4  35  33  28  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t Z 0.209  D  p  decision  .0385  .000  NS  78  time on two n i g h t s or more each week doing homework. However, these d i f f e r e n c e s were not s i g n i f i c a n t at the .05  l e v e l o f confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  Two-  Sample t e s t . Mothers were asked how l o n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n usuallyspent when they worked on homework.  Students i n the  group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were r e p o r t e d t o spend longer p e r i o d s o f time on homework than were students i n the group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  Adding the  l a s t two columns i n Table 10-shows that 83 percent of the students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e  Table  writers  10  The amount o f time spent on homework assignments by c h i l d r e n d u r i n g each s e s s i o n of work expressed i n percentage group  more effective e fr^l** fective  no response  n 0  ^  fifteen minutes or l e s s  1.043  one hour or longer  s 6  ,, 11  26  57  10  ^39  21  25  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Z  thirty forty-five minutes minutes  D 1.915  Two-Sample T e s t p  .227  decision NS  79  u s u a l l y spent f o r t y - f i v e minutes or l o n g e r when they worked on homework while 46 percent of the students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were r e p o r t e d t o spend t h i s l e n g t h of time.  T h i s d i f f e r e n c e between  the groups, however, was not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  level  of confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t . These r e s u l t s , which i n d i c a t e longer p e r i o d s o f time spent on homework by students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than by students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s , were supported by i n t e r v i e w e e s . Parents of c h i l d r e n i n the group o f more  effective  w r i t e r s who were i n t e r v i e w e d c o n s i s t e n t l y d e s c r i b e d the amount of time t h e i r c h i l d r e n spent on homework as g r e a t e r than the amount of time spent on homework by c h i l d r e n i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e  writers.  T y p i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n s of the l e n g t h of time spent by students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were "one  hour d a i l y " or "two hours d a i l y " while students  i n the group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were t y p i c a l l y d e s c r i b e d as spending the bus" or "30 In summary, at the .05  "ten minutes per day while on  minutes d a i l y . " there were no s i g n i f i c a n t  differences  l e v e l of confidence between how l o n g the  two groups spent on t h e i r homework assignments o f t e n they worked on such assignments.  or how  Those i n the  80  group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s however, u s u a l l y longer on t h e i r 7.  spent  homework.  W r i t i n g Help g i v e n by Parents  Answers t o q u e s t i o n s on the q u e s t i o n n a i r e about the k i n d s of help with w r i t i n g given by parents t o t h e i r  children  i n d i c a t e d t h a t three common types of h e l p were g i v e n l e s s r e g u l a r l y by parents t o students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than t o students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s but none of the d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups was s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  l e v e l o f confidence  when t e s t e d with a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample t e s t . Table 11 shows t h a t a s l i g h t l y s m a l l e r p r o p o r t i o n of the mothers of students i n the group o f more e f f e c t i v e writers  (23  percent) than mothers of students i n the  group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (2?  percent) r e p o r t e d  that they helped t h e i r c h i l d r e n weekly i n g e t t i n g on w r i t i n g assignments. d i f f e r e n c e a t the .05  started  T h i s was not a s i g n i f i c a n t  l e v e l o f confidence u s i n g a  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample t e s t . R e s u l t s which are presented  i n Table 11 show a  l a r g e d i f f e r e n c e between the groups of respondents asked how o f t e n they helped t h e i r c h i l d r e n with w r i t t e n work.  Although  when  revising  t h i s d i f f e r e n c e was not s t a t i s t i c a l l y  s i g n i f i c a n t , there was a h i g h e r percentage more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than mothers of l e s s  o f mothers of effective  81 Table 11 The frequency  with which help on w r i t t e n assignments was  given by parents  expressed  i n percentage  Help on G e t t i n g S t a r t e d group  no . response  effective effective  1  1  once yearly  2  2  7  twice yearly  0  1  8  2  monthly  7  2  3  2  weekly  ^  8  5  2  7  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t Z  D  0.662  .1215  p  decision  .774  NS  Help with R e v i s i n g  effete effective  1  9  "  7  2  1  1  2  ^  W  "  4  ?3  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t Z  D  0.480  .0881 Help with  .ffScWv. effective  6  6  1  4  4  p  decision  .976  NS  Proofreading  12  42  35  12  31  39  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t Z 0.622  D  p .1143  .834  decision NS  82  w r i t e r s who r e p o r t e d g i v i n g weekly help t o t h e i r on r e v i s i n g w r i t t e n As can be seen  children  assignments. i n Table 11, p r o o f r e a d i n g help was  g i v e n t o students i n the group o f more e f f e c t i v e (35 percent r e c e i v e d i t weekly)  writers less regularly  than i t was g i v e n to students i n - t h e group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (39  percent r e c e i v e d i t weekly).  These d i f f e r e n c e s were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 l e v e l of confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov TwoSample T e s t . When asked about s e v e r a l f u r t h e r kinds of help with w r i t i n g which parents c o u l d g i v e , i n t e r v i e w e e s i n d i c a t e d t h a t more o f these k i n d s o f h e l p was g i v e n by parents o f c h i l d r e n i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than by parents of students i n the group of less effective writers.  Parents o f c h i l d r e n i n the  group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s who were i n t e r v i e w e d i n d i c a t e d t h a t they t a l k e d about ideas f o r w r i t i n g more often  ("every c o u p l e . o f weeks, a couple o f times a  week") than d i d parents of students i n the group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s ("a couple of times a year, seldom"). C h i l d r e n i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were r e p o r t e d t o read d r a f t s o f assignments t o t h e i r mothers more o f t e n than were students i n the group o f  83  less effective writers.  The parents of students i n the  group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d e s c r i b e d the  frequency  w i t h which t h e i r c h i l d r e n read them d r a f t s of w r i t t e n assignments with such phrases as " o f t e n , sometimes, when proud  of i t " , or "when having d i f f i c u l t y " , while  once y e a r l y " , and  "sometimes,  "seldom" d e s c r i b e d the frequency  with  which c h i l d r e n i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s read t h e i r parents d r a f t s of w r i t t e n In  assignments.  summary, while mothers of the students i n the  sample r e p o r t e d t h a t a l l three kinds of h e l p (help on g e t t i n g s t a r t e d , a s s i s t a n c e with r e v i s i n g w r i t t e n work, and help w i t h p r o o f r e a d i n g of assignments) were given l e s s r e g u l a r l y to students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than they were given to the students i n the group of  l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s , none of these d i f f e r e n c e s  s i g n i f i c a n t at the  .05  was  l e v e l of confidence when t e s t e d  w i t h a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t . Interviewees  i n d i c a t e d t h a t parents of students i n  the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s t a l k e d about ideas f o r w r i t i n g with t h e i r c h i l d r e n and read d r a f t s of t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s w r i t t e n assignments more o f t e n than d i d parents of students i n the group of l e s s  effective  writers. 8.  Reading to C h i l d r e n Which i s Done by  Parents  R e s u l t s of the c u r r e n t study i n d i c a t e d t h a t students  84  i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were read t o more r e g u l a r l y before they c o u l d read f o r themselves than were students i n the group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s but t h i s was not a s i g n i f i c a n t Table 12  difference.  i n d i c a t e s t h a t a g r e a t e r p r o p o r t i o n of  parents of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (?6 percent) than parents of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (40 percent) read aloud one or more times each week t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n who were unable to read f o r themselves.  These d i f f e r e n c e s were n o t ,  however, s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  l e v e l of confidence when  t e s t e d with a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample t e s t . Table 12 shows t h a t few parents read aloud t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n r e g u l a r l y a f t e r the c h i l d r e n had l e a r n e d to read aloud f o r themselves  but t h a t students i n the  group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were read aloud t o more r e g u l a r l y than were students i n the group o f l e s s effective writers.  The d i f f e r e n c e s between the responses  of the two groups t o t h i s q u e s t i o n were s i g n i f i c a n t a t the  .05  l e v e l of confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  Two-Sample  test.  To summarize, mothers r e p o r t e d t h a t both before t h e i r c h i l d r e n could read f o r themselves had  and a f t e r  they  l e a r n e d , more time was spent r e a d i n g aloud t o  c h i l d r e n by parents of students  i n the group of more  T a b l e 12 The frequency w i t h which p a r e n t s read a l o u d t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n e x p r e s s e d i n percentage Before T h e i r C h i l d r e n Could Read f o r Themselves group  no response  never  rarely  once every few weeks  weekly  once every few days  more effective less effective  2  4  6  6  4  19  76  38  40  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t D p decision  Z 0.906  .1664  .384  NS  A f t e r T h e i r C h i l d r e n Could Read f o r Themselves  ™0]f?  effective e f„ f„ e c^t ?i v e l e  0  22  46  17  12  2  19  46  19  8  z  1-800  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t D • p, .3305  .003  daily  decision Significant  86  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than by parents of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  In the l a t t e r case,  r e s u l t s were s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  l e v e l o f confidence  u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t . 9.  P a r e n t - C h i l d D i s c u s s i o n s Concerning Reading and Television  Viewing  Interviewees r e p o r t e d t h a t d i s c u s s i o n s between parents and t h e i r c h i l d r e n about  the c h i l d r e n ' s r e a d i n g  and t e l e v i s i o n viewing were more r e g u l a r occurrences i n the homes of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than they were i n the homes of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  Parents o f students i n  the groups of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d e s c r i b e d the frequency of such d i s c u s s i o n s with such phrases as " f r e q u e n t l y , q u i t e o f t e n " and "sometimes". of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e  The parents writers  r e p o r t e d i n t h e i r i n t e r v i e w s t h a t they seldom had such d i s c u s s i o n s with t h e i r  children.  Interviews with respondents  provided an o p p o r t u n i t y  to assess the a t t i t u d e s of f a m i l y members toward r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s and t o a s c e r t a i n the frequency with which these t o p i c s were d i s c u s s e d i n the every day l i v e s of f a m i l y members.  Interviews were p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y (  d i v i d e d among the more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s , l e s s w r i t e r s , males, and females  effective  i n a way that r e f l e c t e d the  87  composition  o f t h e g r o u p s who r e t u r n e d  their  R e s p o n d e n t s f r o m t h e homes o f s t u d e n t s of  more e f f e c t i v e  the  occurrences  were r e a d i n g w i t h in their  g r o u p o f more e f f e c t i v e  their  preschool a)  less  lives.  d i d n ' t bother  c)  gave us a k i c k : we e n j o y e d i t "  C.  helping that  such  me  f r o m t h e homes o f s t u d e n t s  i n t h e group o f  w r i t e r s , however, n e a r l y a l w a y s  o f what was r e a d  lives.  presented  i t was  b)  discussion  from  occurrence  mentioned  i n a s s o c i a t i o n with  a s s i g n m e n t s and s u c h a c t i v i t i e s  their  Interviewees  "we d i d n ' t n o t i c e b e c a u s e  effective  c h i l d r e n as  r e a d i n g was s o m e t h i n g  r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s  of  their  writers indicated that  c h i l d r e n with  a regular  Respondents  i n the group  w r i t e r s described w r i t i n g s t o r i e s or  d i s c u s s i n g what t h e y regular  questionnaires.  as f r e q u e n t  r e a d i n g and  d i d n o t form r e g u l a r  Further responses  school  features  of interviewees are  i n Appendix J .  HOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION Investigation  worked o u t s i d e occupations reading revealed  o f t h e work h a b i t s o f m o t h e r s  t h e home, t h e e d u c a t i o n a l  of parents,  and t h e p r e s e n c e  and w r i t i n g m a t e r i a l s  who  l e v e l s and of certain  i n t h e homes o f r e s p o n d e n t s  d i f f e r e n c e s between t h e homes o f s t u d e n t s  g r o u p o f more e f f e c t i v e  i n the  w r i t e r s and homes o f s t u d e n t s i n  88  the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  In the homes of  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s there were more books f o r c h i l d r e n , more mothers had worked outside the home s i n c e t h e i r b i r t h s , and mothers were b e t t e r educated of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  children's  than i n the homes  These are a l l d i f f e r e n c e s which  were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e .  However, a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the e d u c a t i o n a l l e v e l s a t t a i n e d by f a t h e r s i n the two groups was found with the f a t h e r s of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s being b e t t e r 1.  Books and Chalkboards  i n the Home  About h a l f of the homes of a l l respondents chalkboards.  educated.  contained  The homes of students i n the group of more  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s contained more books f o r c h i l d r e n d i d the homes of students i n the group of l e s s w r i t e r s but t h i s was not a s i g n i f i c a n t  than  effective  difference.  Although not a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e  a t the .05  l e v e l of confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample t e s t , there was a d i f f e r e n c e between the percentage of homes of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e which c o n t a i n e d chalkboards  (57  writers  percent) and the percentage  of homes of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e which c o n t a i n e d chalkboards  (48 p e r c e n t ) .  writers  T h i s can be  seen by adding the l a s t three columns of Table Table 14 shows t h a t a higher percentage  13.  o f the homes  of students i n the group o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (82 percent) were r e p o r t e d as having f i f t y  or more books  Table 13 The  frequency with which chalkboards were found  expressed  i n the homes o f respondents  i n percentage  no response  no chalkboard  a large chalkboard  a small chalkboard  more than one chalkboard  more effective  1  42  38  15  4  less effective  2  50  29  15  4  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Test Z 0.261  D  p .0479  .999  decision NS  CO  90  for children  than were homes o f students i n the group  of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s difference  (56 p e r c e n t ) .  Although the  was not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 l e v e l o f  confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample the  test,  i n f o r m a t i o n was confirmed through d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h  interviewees.  Interviewees from the homes o f more  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d e s c r i b e d t h e i r homes as c o n t a i n i n g many books f o r c h i l d r e n  while i n t e r v i e w e e s from the homes  of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s r e p o r t e d that t h e i r homes contained fewer  books.  In summary, a b o u t h a l f o f a l l respondents r e p o r t e d having chalkboards i n t h e i r homes, and the homes o f students i n the group o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s contained more books f o r c h i l d r e n  than d i d the homes of students  i n the group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e  writers.  Differences  Table 14 The number o f books f o r c h i l d r e n expressed  i n the homes of respondents  i n percentage no response  l e s s than t e n books  11-20 books  21-50 books  50 or more books  more effective  1  3  1  13  82  less effective  2  5  8  29  56  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t Z 0.539  D  p  decision  .0989  .934  NS  91  between responses  from mothers of students i n the group  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and mothers of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s about chalkboards and books f o r c h i l d r e n were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  level  of c o n f i d e n c e . 2.  Mothers' Work Outside the Home  Questions  about work done o u t s i d e the home by-  mothers of students i n both groups r e v e a l e d t h a t more mothers of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than mothers of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s v/orked o u t s i d e the home a f t e r  their  c h i l d r e n had been born but these d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups were not s i g n i f i c a n t . A higher percentage'of mothers of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s r e p o r t e d having worked outside the home s i n c e t h e i r c h i l d r e n had been born (81 percent) than d i d the mothers of students of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (73 p e r c e n t ) .  i n the group As Table  i n d i c a t e s , d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups on t h i s  15 variable  were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 l e v e l of confidence using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t .  These d i f f e r e n c e s ,  however, d i d approach s i g n i f i c a n c e a t the .05 l e v e l of confidence  (p = . 0 7 6 ) .  Table 15 a l s o shows t h a t before t h e i r attended  s c h o o l more mothers of students  children  i n the group of  92  Table The  15  frequency with which mothers reported  working  outside  the home expressed i n percentage Since group  T h e i r C h i l d r e n Were Born  no response  d i d not work  d i d work  more effective  0  19  81  less effective  0  2?  73  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t Z  1.278  D  P  decision  .076  .23^7  NS  Before T h e i r C h i l d r e n Attended School more effective  35  65  less effective  40  58  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Z .440  D .0808  p  Test decision  .990  NS  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than mothers of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were working outside the home.  However, the d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups on  93  this variable  were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 l e v e l of  confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Mothers of students i n the group of more writers finished  test.  effective  t h e i r work o u t s i d e the home e a r l i e r i n  the day than d i d the mothers o f students of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  While  i n the group  35 percent o f the mothers  of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s finished  t h e i r work outside the home before 4:30  p.m.,  1? percent of the mothers of students i n the group of less effective writers finished  before t h a t time.  was not a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e  This  between the groups when  t e s t e d with a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t . To summarize, more of the mothers o f students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s r e p o r t e d that they had worked o u t s i d e the home a t some time children  since t h e i r  had been born but t h i s d i f f e r e n c e  between the  groups was not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 l e v e l of confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t .  Additionally,  more mothers o f students i n the group of more w r i t e r s than mothers of students  effective  i n the group o f l e s s  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s r e p o r t e d t h a t they had worked o u t s i d e the home b e f o r e t h e i r c h i l d r e n differences  attended s c h o o l but the  between the two groups on t h i s  variable  were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 l e v e l of confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t .  94  3.  The Absence o f N a t u r a l Parents from the Home Most homes of respondents  from the two groups  contained both n a t u r a l p a r e n t s . to  There was no p a t t e r n  the ages a t which parents l e f t the homes or entered  them and no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups. A s l i g h t l y h i g h e r percentage  of mothers o f students  in the group o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than mothers o f students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s r e p o r t e d homes which contained both o f the c h i l d ' s n a t u r a l p a r e n t s . Using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample t e s t ,  these  d i f f e r e n c e s were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 l e v e l o f confidence  (Z=0.823, D= .1511,  p = .508).  There were only s l i g h t d i f f e r e n c e s between the ages of  c h i l d r e n i n the two groups when parents l e f t or  entered t h e i r homes.  These d i f f e r e n c e s were not  s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 l e v e l o f confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t . 4.  Level of Parental Education  Both mothers and f a t h e r s o f students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s had higher l e v e l s o f education than d i d the mothers and f a t h e r s o f students i n the group of  less effective writers.  The d i f f e r e n c e between the  e d u c a t i o n a l l e v e l s o f mothers was not s i g n i f i c a n t  while  the d i f f e r e n c e between the e d u c a t i o n a l l e v e l s h e l d by f a t h e r s was s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 l e v e l o f c o n f i d e n c e .  95  When the l a s t f o u r columns are added together, Table 16 shows t h a t 6 l percent o f the mothers of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s had some  l e v e l while 22  education beyond the grade twelve  of the mothers o f students i n the group of l e s s '  w r i t e r s possessed  t h i s l e v e l of e d u c a t i o n .  percent effective  The d i f f e r e n c e s  between the groups on t h i s v a r i a b l e were not s i g n i f i c a n t at the .05  l e v e l o f confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  Two-Sample T e s t . Adding  t o g e t h e r the l a s t f o u r columns i n Table  i n d i c a t e s t h a t a h i g h e r percentage  of f a t h e r s of students i n  the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (49 f a t h e r s of students i n the group of l e s s writers  (33 percent) possessed  beyond the grade twelve  1?  percent)  than  effective  a l e v e l o f education  level.  The d i f f e r e n c e s between  the e d u c a t i o n a l l e v e l s of f a t h e r s of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and the e d u c a t i o n a l l e v e l s o f f a t h e r s o f students i n the group of l e s s effective  w r i t e r s were s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  confidence.  T h i s was determined  l e v e l of  by u s i n g a Kolmogorov-  Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t . In summary, both f a t h e r s and mothers o f students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s possessed  higher  l e v e l s o f education than d i d the parents of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s but s t a t i s t i c a l l y  Table  16  The highest l e v e l o f s c h o o l a t t a i n e d group  more effective less effective  no some response secondary school  by mothers expressed i n percentage  grade community t e c h n i c a l twelve college training graduate  some university  university graduate  0  10  29  16  13  16  16  4  35  40  10  4  6  2  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Test Z 0.337  D .0619  p  decision NS  .999  Table 17 The highest l e v e l of s c h o o l a t t a i n e d group  by f a t h e r s  expressed i n percentage  no some grade community t e c h n i c a l some response secondary twelve college training university school graduate  university graduate  more effective  1  30  19  6  7  13  23  less effective  6  44  17  8  10  0  15  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Test Z 2.163  D .3972  p  decision .001  Significant  97  significant differences were found  (at the  .05  l e v e l of confidence)  only on the v a r i a b l e of f a t h e r s ' e d u c a t i o n a l  level. 5.  Parental  An examination the respondents  Occupation  of the occupations r e p o r t e d by  i n d i c a t e d t h a t i n the homes of more  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s more mothers worked o u t s i d e the home and both mothers and skilled  f a t h e r s h e l d s l i g h t l y more h i g h l y  jobs than d i d parents of students i n the group  of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s but these d i f f e r e n c e s were not s i g n i f i c a n t at the Occupations scale. listed  .05  l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e .  were c a t e g o r i z e d u s i n g a f i v e - p a r t  Examples of t y p i c a l  jobs i n each category are  below. 1.  unskilled—janitor,  domestic  help  2.  semi-skilled--truck driver, secretary  3.  s k i l l e d — t r a d e s m a n , machine operator  4.  b u s i n e s s and management—store manager  5.  p r o f e s s i o n a l — p h a r m a c i s t , teacher  Appendix G l i s t s a l l occupations which were r e p o r t e d by respondents  and which category each was  placed i n ) .  Upon adding the l a s t f i v e columns of Table 18 i t becomes e v i d e n t t h a t more mothers of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (66 percent) mothers of students i n the group of l e s s  than  effective  Table 18 The  occupational c l a s s i f i c a t i o n group  effective l s effective e  s  no response 1 4  d i d not work  of .jobs held by mothers expressed  unskilled  semiskilled  skilled  business & managerial  i n percentage professional  33  12  28  15  4  7  44  13  23  12  4  o  J  J  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t Z 0.915  D .1681  p .372  decision NS  Table 19 The  occupational c l a s s i f i c a t i o n group  no response  d i d not work  of jobs h e l d by f a t h e r s expressed  unskilled  semiskilled  skilled  business & managerial  i n percentage professional  more effective  3  4  29  28  10  20  less effective  4  17  19  31  10  10  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Test Z 1.109 —  —  —  D .P.037 ,  p .170  decision NS OO  99  writers  (52  percent) worked  outside  the home.  The  s k i l l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f jobs h e l d by mothers of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and mothers of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s are q u i t e s i m i l a r with a s l i g h t l y l a r g e r group o f mothers of (7  students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  percent) than i n the group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (no mothers) h o l d i n g  jobs c l a s s i f i e d as p r o f e s s i o n a l .  These d i f f e r e n c e s were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 of confidence  level  when t e s t e d u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  Two-Sample t e s t . The occupations of f a t h e r s i n the sample are tabulated  i n Table 19.  Fathers  of students i n the  group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s g e n e r a l l y h e l d r a t e d as more h i g h l y s k i l l e d  than d i d f a t h e r s of students  i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s . percent  jobs  For example,  20  o f the f a t h e r s of students i n the group o f more  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s h e l d occupations c l a s s i f i e d as p r o f e s s i o n a l while 10 percent  of the f a t h e r s o f students  i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s h e l d such occupations.  The d i f f e r e n c e s between the responses of  the groups on t h i s v a r i a b l e were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  l e v e l of  confidence.  In summary, both mothers and f a t h e r s o f students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s h e l d  jobs  rated  100  as more h i g h l y s k i l l e d than the jobs h e l d by the mothers and  f a t h e r s of students i n the group o f l e s s  w r i t e r s , but no s i g n i f i c a n t  effective .05  d i f f e r e n c e s a t the  l e v e l of confidence were found. D.  LEISURE ACTIVITIES Examination  of the at-home l e i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s o f  students r e v e a l e d t h a t students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were r e p o r t e d t o watch fewer hours of t e l e v i s i o n each week and have more r e s t r i c t i o n s p l a c e d on t h e i r t e l e v i s i o n viewing than were students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  Students  i n the group  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were a l s o r e p o r t e d t o choose to read books and magazines, make t h i n g s with hands, p a r t i c i p a t e  their  i n q u i e t indoor games, and to p l a y  alone more o f t e n than were students i n the group o f less effective 1.  writers. Students' T e l e v i s i o n  Viewing  Table 20 shows that students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s g e n e r a l l y watched fewer hours o f t e l e v i s i o n each week than d i d students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s but d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups on t h i s v a r i a b l e were not s i g n i f i c a n t . Table 20 shows t h a t a s m a l l e r percentage  F o r example, o f the students  i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (6 percent) the percentage  of students i n the group o f l e s s  than  effective  101  Table  20  i n percentage no response  group  5 or fewer hours  no viewing  6-10 hours  11-15 hours  15 or more hours  more effective  1  2  30  42  19  6  less effective  4  2  23  36  23  12  Kolmogorov -Smirnov Two-Sample Te s t Z 0.514  writers  (12  D  decision  P  .0945  p e r c e n t ) watched  .954  NS  f i f t e e n or more hours of  t e l e v i s i o n each week but the d i f f e r e n c e s groups were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  Two-Sample  between the l e v e l of confidence  test.  Interviewees r e p o r t e d that l e s s t e l e v i s i o n v i e w i n g was done by c h i l d r e n  i n the group of more  w r i t e r s than by c h i l d r e n writers. the  variously  i n the group of l e s s  effective  T h i s i n f o r m a t i o n agreed with the responses t o  questionnaire.  children  effective  The t e l e v i s i o n v i e w i n g h a b i t s of  i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were d e s c r i b e d by i n t e r v i e w e e s as  "limited",  102  non-existent  ("he seldom watches"),  or supplanted by  r e a d i n g ("she u s u a l l y reads i n s t e a d " ) .  Most i n t e r v i e w e e s  who were parents of c h i l d r e n i n the group of l e s s effective  w r i t e r s d e s c r i b e d the t e l e v i s i o n  h a b i t s of t h e i r c h i l d r e n as r e g u l a r .  viewing  These interviewees  were each able t o name a number of programs which  their  c h i l d r e n viewed on a r e g u l a r b a s i s . Table 21 shows t h a t r e s t r i c t i o n s  of some k i n d were  p l a c e d on the v i e w i n g of most students i n the sample and that  a h i g h e r p r o p o r t i o n of students i n the group of  more e f f e c t i v e television  w r i t e r s had r e s t r i c t i o n s  viewing  (71  p l a c e d on t h e i r  percent) than d i d students i n the  Table 21  of  c h i l d r e n expressed group  i n percentage  no restrictions  some restrictions  more effective  29  71  less effective  48  52  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t Z 0.464  D  p • .0853  .982  decision NS  (52  group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s these d i f f e r e n c e s  percent).  However,  were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  level  of confidence when t e s t e d u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample t e s t . are  Restrictions  which respondents r e p o r t e d  presented i n Appendix H. In summary, students i n the group o f more  effective  w r i t e r s were r e p o r t e d t o watch fewer hours o f t e l e v i s i o n each week and have more r e s t r i c t i o n s p l a c e d on t h e i r t e l e v i s i o n viewing than students i n the group of l e s s effective the  w r i t e r s but n e i t h e r of these d i f f e r e n c e s  groups were s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 2.  l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e .  Students' S o l i t a r y A c t i v i t i e s  Mothers were asked how o f t e n , when alone, children  between  chose t o do f i v e d i f f e r e n t  their  activities.  r e p o r t e d t h a t students i n the group of more  They  effective  w r i t e r s chose t o look a t books or magazines, make t h i n g s with t h e i r hands, and p a r t i c i p a t e  i n q u i e t indoor games  more o f t e n than the students i n the group of l e s s effective the  writers did.  A l l of these d i f f e r e n c e s  groups were not s i g n i f i c a n t .  Respondents  r e p o r t e d t h a t students i n the group of more w r i t e r s chose t o watch t e l e v i s i o n at the .05 active  between  also  effective  (a s i g n i f i c a n t  finding  l e v e l o f c o n f i d e n c e ) and p a r t i c i p a t e i n  outdoor games (not a s i g n i f i c a n t f i n d i n g )  o f t e n than d i d students i n the group o f l e s s  less  effective  104  writers.  Students in. the group of more e f f e c t i v e  writers  a l s o played alone more o f t e n than d i d students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s but the d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups on t h i s v a r i a b l e were not s i g n i f i c a n t . Table 22  i n d i c a t e s that a h i g h e r p r o p o r t i o n of (93  students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s percent) r e g u l a r l y or sometimes or magazines  chose t o look a t books  than d i d students i n the group of l e s s  effective writers  (73  percent).  These  differences,  however, were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  l e v e l of  Two-Sample T e s t .  A c c o r d i n g to parents, students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s chose t o watch t e l e v i s i o n o f t e n than d i d students i n the group of l e s s writers  (as Table 22 shows).  less  effective  The d i f f e r e n c e s between  the groups on t h i s q u e s t i o n were s i g n i f i c a n t a t the l e v e l of confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Sample T e s t , responses:  .05  Two-  (Respondents could choose from the f o l l o w i n g r e g u l a r l y , sometimes,  seldom, or never when  answering these q u e s t i o n s . ) Table 22  i n d i c a t e s that  "participates in active  outdoor games" was chosen " r e g u l a r l y " or  "sometimes"  by 7 7 percent of the respondents i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and by 74 percent of the respondents i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  Differences  Table 22 The  frequency with which c h i l d r e n chose f i v e s o l i t a r y a c t i v i t i e s expressed  group  look a t books  watch television  do a c t i v e outdoor games  make t h i n g s w i t h hands  i n percentage  do q u i e t indoor games  more effective  93  78  74  77  70  less effective  73  85  77  69  50  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two Sample T e s t Z  1.040  1.800  0.555  1.115  0.209  D  .1909  .3305  .1020  .2048  .0385  P  .230  .003  .917  .166  .999  NS  NS  NS  decision Notet  NS  Significant  frequency- the percentage o f students who " r e g u l a r l y " or "sometimes"  chose these  activities.  o  106  between the groups on t h i s v a r i a b l e were not found to be s i g n i f i c a n t at the .05  l e v e l of confidence using a  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample t e s t . Respondents i n d i c a t e d t h a t more (77  percent) of  the students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s r e g u l a r l y or sometimes chose t o "make t h i n g s with hands" than d i d students i n the group of l e s s writers  (69  percent).  their  effective  A Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample  t e s t found the d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups on t h i s v a r i a b l e were not s i g n i f i c a n t at the .05  l e v e l of  confidence. Respondents a l s o i n d i c a t e d that 70 percent of the more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s " r e g u l a r l y " or "sometimes" chose to p a r t i c i p a t e  i n q u i e t indoor games while only  50  percent of the parents r e p o r t e d t h a t students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s chose indoor games that often.  The d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups on t h i s  v a r i a b l e were, however, not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  level  of confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample t e s t . When asked how  o f t e n t h e i r c h i l d r e n played alone,  parents i n d i c a t e d t h a t p l a y i n g alone was  done more  r e g u l a r l y by students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e writers  (33  percent d i d so " r e g u l a r l y " ) than by" students  in^the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (25  percent d i d  107  so " r e g u l a r l y " ) as Table 23  shows.  The use of the  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t found t h a t these d i f f e r e n c e s were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  l e v e l of  confidence. In summary, the s o l i t a r y a c t i v i t i e s chosen more o f t e n by students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e than by students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e  writers writers  were a)  l o o k i n g at books or magazines  b)  making t h i n g s with the hands  c)  p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n q u i e t indoor games  The d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups i n the frequency  Table  23  The frequency with which c h i l d r e n played alone in  expressed  percentage group  effe'cTive effective  no response  rarely  0  4  sometimes  "  "  «  *  regularly  "  8  25  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t Z 0.856  D  p .1572  .456  decision NS  108  with which they chose s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  these three a c t i v i t i e s were nor l e v e l of confidence.  A c t i v i t i e s which were chosen  l e s s o f t e n by students  i n the group o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than be students i n the group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were "watches t e l e v i s i o n " and  " p a r t i c i p a t e s i n a c t i v e outdoor games".  Differences i n  the frequency with which students from the two groups to watch t e l e v i s i o n were s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  chose  l e v e l of  confidence. E. ' PARENTAL OPINIONS Examination  of the o p i n i o n s o f parents about  their  r o l e s i n h e l p i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n l e a r n the s k i l l s o f r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g r e v e a l e d s i g n i f i c a n t and n o n - s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between respondents  i n the group of more  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and respondents effective writers.  i n the group of l e s s  N o n - s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between  the groups were found when respondents  i n the group o f  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e i r c h i l d r e n were more i n t e r e s t e d i n s c h o o l and t h a t they as parents were more s a t i s f i e d with w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the s c h o o l s than were respondents  who were parents o f students i n the  group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  A significant  difference  between the groups was t h a t the parents o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were more s a t i s f i e d w i t h s c h o o l i n s t r u c t i o n i n reading.  The mothers o f students i n the group of more  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s a l s o expressed a s t r o n g e r commitment  109  to the s c h o o l progress of t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n a s e r i e s of o p i n i o n n a i r e q u e s t i o n s  (these d i f f e r e n c e s were not  significant). 1.  Students' I n t e r e s t i n School  Mothers o f respondents  i n d i c a t e d t h a t students i n  the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were more  interested  i n s c h o o l than were students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s but t h i s was not a s i g n i f i c a n t (at the .05  difference  l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e ) .  Table 24. shows.that s t r o n g e r i n t e r e s t i n s c h o o l was shown by students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (46 percent were extremely  i n t e r e s t e d ) than be students  i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (12 extremely  interested).  percent were  U s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-  Sample t e s t s , the d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups on t h i s v a r i a b l e were not s t a t i s t i c a l l y  s i g n i f i c a n t a t the  .05  l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e . 2.  P a r e n t a l S a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h School  Instruction  Parents were more s a t i s f i e d with r e a d i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the s c h o o l s than were parents of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s . difference  (at the .05  T h i s was a s i g n i f i c a n t  l e v e l of confidence).  shows t h a t a l a r g e r percentage  Table  25  o f the parents o f students  i n the group o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s r e p o r t e d t h a t they were very s a t i s f i e d with w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the  Table 2 4 The amount of i n t e r e s t c h i l d r e n were r e p o r t e d t o have i n s c h o o l expressed i n percentage group  _  R  no response  A  0  J ?  0  0  L  E  J ?  6  4  effective „ „  not interested  effective  '  not sure  adequately interested  extremely interested  16  4 0  46  35  4 4  12  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Test Z 0.278  D .0510  p .999  decision NS  Table 25 The opinions o f parents about r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the s c h o o l s expressed i n percentage Reading I n s t r u c t i o n group  no response  very dissatisfied  dissatisfied  not sure  satisfied  very satisfied  more effective  4  0  0  6  68  22  less effective  0  LL  LL  19  69  4  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Test Z  D  1.688  .3099  decision  P  Writing  .007  Significant  Instruction  more effective  4  0  3  13  67  13  less effective  4  10  10  23  63  0  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Test Z  D  0.765  .1405  P .602  decision NS  112  schools than d i d parents of l e s s e f f e c t i v e However, d i f f e r e n c e s  between the groups on t h i s  were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 Results also  writers. variable  l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e .  showed t h a t most parents i n the sample were  more s a t i s f i e d with r e a d i n g i n s t r u c t i o n than they were with w r i t i n g  instruction.  Table 25 i n d i c a t e s  t h a t 22 percent of parents of  students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were s a t i s f i e d " with reading i n s t r u c t i o n  "very  i n the schools while 4  percent of the parents of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were "very s a t i s f i e d " . between the responses  The  from the group of more  differences effective  w r i t e r s and from the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  l e v e l of confidence u s i n g a  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample As might be expected,  test.  parents of students i n the group  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s expressed with w r i t i n g  stronger s a t i s f a c t i o n  i n s t r u c t i o n than d i d parents of students i n  the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s , Among respondents  as Table 25 shows.  from the group of more e f f e c t i v e  writers,  13 percent were very s a t i s f i e d w i t h w r i t i n g  instruction in  the schools while there were no respondents  from the group  of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s who were very s a t i s f i e d . differences variable  between the responses  The  of the two groups on t h i s  were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample  l e v e l of confidence  test.  113  In summary, parents of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s expressed  g r e a t e r s a t i s f a c t i o n with  both  r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the s c h o o l s than d i d the parents of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s , but only on the r e a d i n g v a r i a b l e were the d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 3.  l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e .  " I d e a l Parent" V a r i a b l e s  Mothers were asked to express the amount of agreement they had with f i v e a c t i v i t i e s which the i d e a l parent should do.  The  a c t i v i t i e s were:  1.  check her c h i l d ' s homework r e g u l a r l y  2.  v o l u n t e e r to help w i t h s c h o o l a c t i v i t i e s  3.  help h i s or her c h i l d  4.  not go to the s c h o o l unless asked  5.  be aware of new  l e a r n to read and w r i t e to  t e a c h i n g methods  No s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups was on any  of these q u e s t i o n s .  The  statement  "the i d e a l parent should v o l u n t e e r  to h e l p with s c h o o l a c t i v i t i e s " was  more s t r o n g l y agreed  with by mothers of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (75 agreed  found  percent  or s t r o n g l y agreed) than be mothers of l e s s  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (69  percent agreed  or s t r o n g l y agreed).  These d i f f e r e n c e s which were not s i g n i f i c a n t at the l e v e l of confidence  ( u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  Sample t e s t ) are r e p o r t e d i n Table  26.  Two-  .05  T a b l e 26 The  amount of agreement expressed  parent should:  by parents with the statements  t h a t the i d e a l  (expressed i n percentage) help teach reading and w r i t i n g  not go t o school unless asked to  check homework regularly  help with school activities  more effective  80  75  87  10  88  less effective  88  69  86  10  90  group  be aware of new teaching methods  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample T e s t Z  0.675  0.803  0.337  0.325  0.586  D  .1240  .1474  .0619  .0596  .1076  P  .752  .540  .999  .999  .882  decision  Note.  NS  NS  amount of agreement = the percentage  NS  NS  NS  o f parents who agree o r s t r o n g l y agree  115  Table 26 expressed  i n d i c a t e s .the s t r o n g agreement which  by respondents  with the statement  "the  was  ideal  parent should h e l p h i s or her c h i l d l e a r n to read and write."  While  i t i s not shown i n the t a b l e , the data  r e v e a l e d t h a t parents of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s f e l t more s t r o n g l y (41 percent s t r o n g l y agreed) than parents of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (31  percent s t r o n g l y agreed) t h a t  the i d e a l parent should "help h i s or her c h i l d l e a r n to read and w r i t e " .  When t e s t e d u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  Two-Sample t e s t , these d i f f e r e n c e s were not at  the  .05  Little  l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e . d i f f e r e n c e between the o p i n i o n s of the  mothers of students w r i t e r s and  significant  i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e  the o p i n i o n s of mothers of students i n the  group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s about the statement i d e a l parent should be aware of new found.  There was  "the  t e a c h i n g methods"  was  uniform agreement expressed by the  whole sample with t h i s statement,  as Table 26  shows.  There were no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s at the .05 confidence on t h i s v a r i a b l e  l e v e l of  (using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  Two-Sample t e s t ) . The mothers of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and  the mothers of students i n the group of l e s s  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s a l s o held v i r t u a l l y the same o p i n i o n s  116  c o n c e r n i n g the statement  "the i d e a l parent should not go  to the s c h o o l unless asked  to."  s t r o n g l y with t h i s statement.  Both groups disagreed  While  there were some  d i f f e r e n c e s between the groups i n the p a t t e r n o f t h e i r disagreement,  no s i g n f i c i a n t d i f f e r e n c e s a t the .05  l e v e l o f c o n f i d e n c e were found between the groups u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample The  test.  agreement expressed by respondents  from the  group of more e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s was not as s t r o n g as  the agreement expressed  by respondents  from the group  of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s with the statement  "the i d e a l  parent should check h i s or her c h i l d ' s homework  regularly".  Table 26 shows that while 80 percent of the mothers of students i n the group o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s agreed or s t r o n g l y agreed with t h i s statement  88 percent of the  mothers of students i n the group o f l e s s w r i t e r s agreed  effective  or s t r o n g l y agreed with i t .  d i f f e r e n c e s were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05  These l e v e l of  confidence u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample  test.  No s i g n f i c i a n t d i f f e r e n c e s were found between the o p i n i o n s h e l d by the parents o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and the o p i n i o n s of parents o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s concerning the f i v e 1.  statements:  parents should check homework  regularly,  117  2.  parents should h e l p teach r e a d i n g and writing to their  3.  children,  parents should not go t o the s c h o o l unless asked t o ,  4.  parents should be aware of new t e a c h i n g methods, and  5.  parents should v o l u n t e e r t o h e l p w i t h school  activities.  4. " C h i l d r e n should" V a r i a b l e s Mothers were next asked  t o i n d i c a t e how much agreement  or disagreement they had with the f o l l o w i n g f o u r  statements  concerning the p o s s i b l e r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s of c h i l d r e n ; 1.  be read t o r e g u l a r l y when they are s m a l l  2.  r e c e i v e p a r e n t a l h e l p on homework when needed,  3.  be able t o make most o f t h e i r own c h o i c e s about books to read and programs t o watch, and  4.  not always be a s k i n g t h e i r parents how t o do t h e i r homework.  When responses  were analyzed u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov  Two-Sample t e s t , no s i g n i f i c a n t l e v e l of confidence were found  d i f f e r e n c e s a t the .05 on any of these f o u r  variables. Table 27 shows t h a t i n response  to the statements  " c h i l d r e n should be read t o r e g u l a r l y when they are  Table 27 Parents' agreement w i t h four a c t i v i t i e s c h i l d r e n should or should not do expressed group  i n percentage be read t o regularly when small  r e c e i v e homework help when needed  make own c h o i c e s about books and programs  complete homework without questions  more effective  94  97  45  57  less effective  92  92  52  54  Kolmogorov-•Smirnov Two-Sample Test Z  0.396  0.209  0.607  0.252  D  .0727  .0385  .1115  .0463  P  .998  .999  .855  .999  NS  NS  NS  NS  decision Note.  Parents* agreement = the percentage  o f parents who agreed  o r s t r o n g l y agreed  119  s m a l l , " " c h i l d r e n should r e c e i v e p a r e n t a l help on homework when needed," and " c h i l d r e n should not always be a s k i n g t h e i r parents how t o do t h e i r homework" more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s expressed  s l i g h t l y s t r o n g e r agreement than the  mothers of students did.  i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  Only with the statement  " c h i l d r e n should be able  to make most of t h e i r own c h o i c e s about books t o read and programs t o watch" d i d mothers of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s express l e s s s t r o n g agreement than t h a t expressed of l e s s e f f e c t i v e The  by mothers of students i n the group  writers.  l a s t group of q u e s t i o n s asked mothers to  i n d i c a t e the amount of agreement or disagreement had with the f o l l o w i n g statements household  and  they  concerning r e g u l a r  events which c h i l d r e n should p a r t i c i p a t e ins .1.  help pay f o r the b i l l s a t home,  2.  help do the f a m i l y grocery  3.  c l e a n up t h e i r rooms without being reminded,  4.  help a t home by doing r e g u l a r chores  shopping,  Table 2 8 shows t h a t s t r o n g e r agreement with the statement  " c h i l d r e n should h e l p a t home by doing  r e g u l a r chores" was expressed  by mothers of students i n  the group of'more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (97  percent  agreed  or s t r o n g l y agreed) than by mothers of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (92  percent agreed or  120  s t r o n g l y agreed) but t h i s d i f f e r e n c e was not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the  .05 l e v e l of confidence  Sample t e s t .  u s i n g a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-  With the other three statements  d i f f e r e n c e between the o p i n i o n s expressed students  there was l i t t l e  by mothers of  i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and mothers  of students  i n the group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and, using  a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample t e s t , no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s a t the .05 l e v e l o f confidence were In summary, there was l i t t l e responses  found.  d i f f e r e n c e between the  of the mothers o f students  i n the group of more  Table 28 The  amount o f agreement expressed  by parents with the  statements  nowadays c h i l d r e n such as my c h i l d  (expressed  i n percentage)  group  h e l p do the c l e a n t h e i r room grocery without shopping reminding  should:  do r e g u l a r chores a t home  help pay f o r the b i l l s at home  more effective  68  90  97  4  less effective  6?  90  92  4  Z  Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Test 0.209 0.590 0.276  1.120  D  .0385  .1084  .0507  .2057  P  .999 NS  .877 NS  .999 NS  .163 NS  decision  Note. the amount o f agreement = the percentage who agreed or s t r o n g l y agreed.  o f parents  121  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and the mothers of students i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s concerning r e g u l a r events of the household.  Mothers of students i n the group of  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s expressed mothers of students  s t r o n g e r agreement than  i n the group of l e s s  w r i t e r s , however, w i t h three of the f o u r  effective statements  concerning r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s which they were asked  about.  This indicates a stronger interest in  the r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g progress of t h e i r c h i l d r e n among mothers of students i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e writers. F.  OTHER VARIABLES Forming p a r t of the r e s u l t s but not  dependent on how certain  respondents  directly  answered the survey were  "statid' variables. 1.  Sex  A n a l y s i s of the composition of the groups formed by those who sex was  returned t h e i r questionnaires revealed that  not an evenly d i s t r i b u t e d v a r i a b l e between the  group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and the group of l e s s effective writers.  Table 2 9 i n d i c a t e s t h a t q u e s t i o n n a i r e s  returned by the parents of females made up a much l a r g e r p a r t of the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s (71 percent) than d i d q u e s t i o n n a i r e s r e t u r n e d by the parents .of males ( 2 9 percent).  The t a b l e a l s o shows t h a t males were more  122  29  Table  Q u e s t i o n n a i r e respondents grouped by sex and r e p o r t e d i n percentage group  female  more effective  male  „, f  effective  2  ±  g  y  '  <->  numerous i n the group of l e s s e f f e c t i v e  writers  (73  percent) than were females who made up 27 percent of t h i s group. G.  SUMMARY  1.  The f o l l o w i n g s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and l e s s  effective  between  w r i t e r s were  found by the p r e s e n t study. a)  More e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s spent more of t h e i r  leisure  time w r i t i n g  and chose t o watch t e l e v i s i o n  l e s s o f t e n than d i d l e s s e f f e c t i v e b)  writers.  The f a t h e r s o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were  b e t t e r educated and wrote l e t t e r s more.often than the f a t h e r s of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d . c)  The parents o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s read  aloud t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n  a f t e r the c h i l d r e n  could  123  read f o r themselves and were more with r e a d i n g i n s t r u c t i o n  2.  satisfied  i n the s c h o o l s than  were the parents o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e  writers.  a t the .05  l e v e l of  Approaching s i g n i f i c a n c e  confidence were the f o l l o w i n g a)  More e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  interest  i n learning  less effective b)  results. showed an e a r l i e r  how t o p r i n t than d i d  writers.  The parents o f more e f f e c t i v e  less strongly  agreed  writers  (than d i d the parents of  l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s ) with the statement children 3. the  .05  should h e l p pay f o r the b i l l s a t home.  The f o l l o w i n g  r e s u l t s were not s i g n f i c i a n t a t  l e v e l of confidence but were i n the hypothesized  direction: a)  More e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  assignments more o f t e n ,  d i d homework  spent l o n g e r on the  homework assignments, r e c e i v e d l e s s h e l p from t h e i r parents with r e v i s i n g and p r o o f r e a d i n g w r i t t e n assignments, watched fewer hours o f t e l e v i s i o n each week, had more r e s t r i c t i o n s placed on t h e i r t e l e v i s i o n v i e w i n g by t h e i r parents, played alone more o f t e n , indoor a c t i v i t i e s more i n t e r e s t  preferred  over outdoor ones,  i n school, exhibited  exhibited  more  skill  124  i n p r i n t i n g upon grade one entry and chose r e a d i n g as an alone a c t i v i t y more o f t e n than did l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s . b)  The mothers of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d  more d i f f e r e n t kinds of w r i t i n g a t home and at work, worked outside the home more o f t e n , wrote l e t t e r s more f r e q u e n t l y and possessed h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n a l and o c c u p a t i o n a l l e v e l s than the mothers of l e s s  skill  effective  writers did. c)  The f a t h e r s of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  possessed  h i g h e r l e v e l s of education than the  f a t h e r s of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s . d)  The parents  read through  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s _ w r i t t e n assignmen  more r e g u l a r l y ,  contacted t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s  teacher l e s s o f t e n t o d i s c u s s assignments, gave l e s s help t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n r e v i s i n g and p r o o f r e a d i n g w r i t t e n assignments, read  aloud  to t h e i r c h i l d r e n before they c o u l d read f o r themselves more o f t e n , more s t r o n g l y agreed that c h i l d r e n should be read to r e g u l a r l y when s m a l l and should help a t home by doing r e g u l a r chores, children  agreed  l e s s s t r o n g l y that  should be able t o make most of t h e i r  125  own c h o i c e s about books to read and programs to watch, more s t r o n g l y agreed  t h a t parents  should v o l u n t e e r . t o h e l p with s c h o o l  activities,  o f f e r e d t h e i r c h i l d r e n l e s s help with g e t t i n g s t a r t e d on w r i t t e n assignments, and l e s s s t r o n g l y agreed for  the b i l l s  t h a t c h i l d r e n should help pay  a t home than d i d the parents of  less effective writers. e  )  More books f o r c h i l d r e n were i n the homes  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than i n the homes of less effective writers. 4.  On the f o l l o w i n g v a r i a b l e s l i t t l e d i f f e r e n c e  between more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s was  found: a)  the order i n which the s k i l l s  of r e a d i n g  and w r i t i n g were l e a r n e d , b)  the number of chalkboards  i n homes,  c)  the opinions of parents about t e a c h i n g  t h e i r c h i l d r e n r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g and r e a d i n g aloud to t h e i r c h i l d r e n when they were s m a l l , and d)  the opinions of parents t h a t c h i l d r e n  should complete t h e i r homework  without  a s k i n g q u e s t i o n s , c h i l d r e n should help at home by doing r e g u l a r chores, and c h i l d r e n should sometimes h e l p do the grocery  shopping.  CHAPTER FIVE: A.  SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION  SUMMARY OF RESULTS To i n v e s t i g a t e which f a c t o r s  of home environment a  were a s s o c i a t e d with d i f f e r e n t writing,  levels  of s k i l l i n  parents o f s e l e c t e d students i n grades s i x  and seven were asked t o complete a q u e s t i o n n a i r e .  Students  i n grades s i x and seven a t four elementary s c h o o l s were judged by t h e i r teachers on t h e i r o v e r a l l p r o f i c i e n c y i n the  skills  proficient  o f w r i t t e n composition and then ranked from most to least p r o f i c i e n t .  The ten most  proficient  w r i t e r s a t each grade l e v e l formed a group l a b e l l e d e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s " and the t e n l e a s t p r o f i c i e n t  "more  writers  at each grade l e v e l formed a group l a b e l l e d as " l e s s effective writers."  T h i s procedure formed a group o f  40 students a t each of f o u r s c h o o l s f o r a t o t a l o f 160 students.  At both grade l e v e l s and i n each s c h o o l there  was a group o f a t l e a s t t e n students whose s k i l l s i n composition were judged t o be between those o f the more effective  and the l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  students i n the groups o f more e f f e c t i v e  Parents o f w r i t e r s and  l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were asked t o complete a questionnaire.  R e s u l t s from the q u e s t i o n n a i r e s were  c r o s s - t a b u l a t e d by group (group o f more e f f e c t i v e  writers  or group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s ) and the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the d i f f e r e n c e s between the responses o f the groups  126  127  were analyzed by use of a Kolmogorov-Smirnov Two-Sample Test. Interviews were conducted w i t h a s t r a t i f i e d random sample ( s t r a t i f i e d by sex and group t o match the composition of the t o t a l sample) o f t e n q u e s t i o n n a i r e The  i n t e r v i e w s were conducted t o gather  i n f o r m a t i o n c o n c e r n i n g the a s s o c i a t i o n environment and w r i t i n g The  respondents. additional  between home  skill.  following differences  between more  effective  w r i t e r s and l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were s i g n i f i c a n t a t the  .05 l e v e l o f confidence or b e t t e r . 1.  C h i l d r e n i n the group o f more e f f e c t i v e  writers  spent more o f t h e i r l e i s u r e time a t home w r i t i n g . difference  This  was s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .044 l e v e l of  confidence. 2.  F a t h e r s of c h i l d r e n  i n the group o f more  effective  w r i t e r s possessed h i g h e r l e v e l o f e d u c a t i o n than d i d f a t h e r s of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s . s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .001 3.  T h i s f i n d i n g was  l e v e l of confidence.  Fewer of the c h i l d r e n  i n the group of more  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s chose t o watch t e l e v i s i o n . f i n d i n g was s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .003 4.  Parents of c h i l d r e n  This  l e v e l of confidence.  i n the group of more  w r i t e r s expressed more s a t i s f a c t i o n with r e a d i n g i n the s c h o o l s than d i d the parents of l e s s  effective instruction  effective  128  T h i s f i n d i n g was s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .007  writers.  l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e . 5.  The parents o f c h i l d r e n  effective writers  i n the group o f more  read aloud t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n who could  a l r e a d y read f o r themselves more o f t e n than d i d the parents o f c h i l d r e n writers.  i n the group o f l e s s  This difference  effective  was s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .003  l e v e l of confidence. 6.  The f a t h e r s  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  more l e t t e r s than d i d the f a t h e r s  effective  T h i s f i n d i n g was s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .03^ l e v e l  writers. of  of less  wrote  confidence. Approaching s i g n i f i c a n c e  confidence were the f o l l o w i n g 1. learning  strongly  results.  More e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  showed an i n t e r e s t i n  how t o p r i n t a t an e a r l i e r age than d i d l e s s  effective writers 2.  a t the .05 l e v e l o f  (p = . 1 1 2 ) .  The parents o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s agreed that  children  more  should help pay f o r the  b i l l s a t home than d i d the parents o f more e f f e c t i v e writers,(p  = .163).  Other r e s u l t s  o f the study which were i n the  hypothesized d i r e c t i o n are presented below.  These  r e s u l t s were n o t s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 l e v e l o f confidence.  129  1.  The mothers of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d more  w r i t i n g a t home and a t work. 2i  Both the q u e s t i o n n a i r e r e s u l t s and i n t e r v i e w  data showed t h a t the more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s brought  0  home t h e i r marked assignments more r e g u l a r l y f o r t h e i r parents t o see and these c h i l d r e n a l s o d i d homework more o f t e n each week. 3. to  The parents  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s read aloud  t h e i r p r e s c h o o l e r s more o f t e n and expressed  stronger  agreement t h a t c h i l d r e n should be read t o than d i d the parents 4.  of less e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s . Information gathered  during interviews indicated  that each of the f o l l o w i n g kinds of h e l p with w r i t i n g took place more o f t e n i n the homes of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than  i n the homes of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s :  (a)  c o n v e r s a t i o n s about ideas f o r w r i t i n g ,  p r e l i m i n a r y d r a f t s of assignments, and  (b) r e a d i n g  (c) help from  fathers in formulating w r i t i n g ideas. 5.  Interview data showed that more e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s showed a s t r o n g e r i n t e r e s t  i n l e a r n i n g t o read.  Interviews a l s o r e v e a l e d t h a t a g r e a t e r number of the parents  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s thought  teaching t h e i r  c h i l d r e n t o read was a n a t u r a l p a r t of t h e i r l i v e s which they h a r d l y n o t i c e d doing. 6.  Other d i f f e r e n c e s which were not s t a t i s t i c a l l y  130  s i g n i f i c a n t were found between the homes of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and the homes of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  For  example, the home c o n d i t i o n s below were more commonly found i n the homes of the more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s : chalkboards i n the homes, children, skilled 7.  (b) a l a r g e number of books f o r  (c) h i g h l y educated mothers, and  occupations outside  (d) h i g h l y  the home h e l d by mothers.  The more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s watched fewer hours  of t e l e v i s i o n each week. by  (a)  information  T h i s was a d i f f e r e n c e supported  from the i n t e r v i e w s .  More e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  were s e l e c t i v e i n t h e i r t e l e v i s i o n v i e w i n g ,  interviews  i n d i c a t e d , and c h i l d r e n i n the more e f f e c t i v e group had more r e s t r i c t i o n s p l a c e d 8.  on t h e i r t e l e v i s i o n v i e w i n g ,  More e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were r e p o r t e d  t o play  alone more o f t e n and when p l a y i n g alone they were to p r e f e r q u i e t indoor writers did.  reported  games more than the l e s s e f f e c t i v e  More e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d not choose a c t i v e  outdoor games as r e g u l a r l y as l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d . 9.  Respondents i n d i c a t e d that c h i l d r e n i n the group  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were more s t r o n g l y i n t e r e s t e d i n s c h o o l than were l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s . 10.  A greater  effective writers  percentage o f the parents of more  (than the percentage o f the parents  of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s ) expressed s t r o n g agreement with these statements:  (a) p a r e n t s should  help  their  131  c h i l d r e n l e a r n t o read and w r i t e , and  (b) c h i l d r e n  should  do r e g u l a r chores a t home. 11.  Stronger agreement was expressed by the parents  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than by the parents of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s with the idea t h a t parents should the  visit  school more o f t e n than j u s t when asked t o . 12.  should  There was l e s s s t r o n g agreement t h a t c h i l d r e n  be able t o make most of t h e i r own c h o i c e s  books to read  about  and programs t o watch among the parents o f  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than among the parents of l e s s effective writers. 13.  Interviews showed a more a c t i v e  i n the r e a d i n g  and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s of c h i l d r e n by the  parents of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s . the  involvement  T h i s involvement took  form of r e g u l a r d i s c u s s i o n s about w r i t i n g and help  w i t h w r i t i n g assignments. 14.  The more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s showed an e a r l i e r  interest  i n l e a r n i n g how t o p r i n t and g r e a t e r p r i n t i n g  skill  upon e n t e r i n g grade one.  were not s i g n i f i c a n t a t the .05 15.  Both o f these d i f f e r e n c e s l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e .  More e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s spent more time on t h e i r  homework but t h i s was not a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e a t the .05  l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e .  is,  however, supported by i n t e r v i e w r e s u l t s which showed  T h i s d i f f e r e n c e between the groups  t h a t more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s spent c o n s i d e r a b l y on  homework.  more time  132  16.  Fathers of c h i l d r e n i n the group of more  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s h e l d more h i g h l y s k i l l e d than d i d the f a t h e r s of l e s s e f f e c t i v e 17.  occupations  writers.  C h i l d r e n i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s had the f o l l o w i n g p r e f e r e n c e s f o r a c t i v i t i e s when occupying themselves:  (a) more of them chose  r e a d i n g and (b) more o f them chose t o make t h i n g s w i t h t h e i r hands. 18.  Parents of c h i l d r e n i n the group o f more  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s expressed  the f o l l o w i n g o p i n i o n s :  (a) more s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the s c h o o l s and (b) more agreement t h a t parents  should  v o l u n t e e r t o help with s c h o o l a c t i v i t i e s . B.  DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS Of the 26 r e s u l t s r e p o r t e d i n the p r e c e d i n g  summary,  a m a j o r i t y o f 25 of them were i n the hypothesized direction. the  .05  S i x of the 23 were s i g n i f i c a n t f i n d i n g s a t  l e v e l of confidence  (and a l l of the s i g n i f i c a n t  f i n d i n g s were i n the hypothesized d i r e c t i o n ) .  Each o f  the s i g n i f i c a n t f i n d i n g s i s d i s c u s s e d below. 1.  C h i l d r e n i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  spent more o f t h e i r l e i s u r e time w r i t i n g than d i d members of the group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  Monk ( 1 9 5 8 ) ,  i n h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the home backgrounds of c h i l d r e n who had high achievement i n w r i t t e n E n g l i s h ,  concluded  133  t h a t there was a s t r o n g a s s o c i a t i o n between the h i g h e r a c h i e v i n g w r i t e r s and n e a r l y every i n t e l l e c t u a l i n t e r e s t or a c t i v i t y which he questioned respondents about. r e s u l t s of the c u r r e n t but are more s p e c i f i c .  The  study agree with Monk's f i n d i n g s The present  study found that more  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d more w r i t i n g i n t h e i r l e i s u r e time than d i d l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s . Although more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s spent more of t h e i r l e i s u r e time w r i t i n g than d i d l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s n e i t h e r group spent t h e i r l e i s u r e time w r i t i n g very often.  F o r t y - e i g h t percent  of the more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  spent l e i s u r e time w r i t i n g once a week or.more o f t e n while 32 percent  o f the l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s wrote  that o f t e n . . Future r e s e a r c h e r s  could address s e v e r a l  questions.  How much w r i t i n g i n l e i s u r e time i s a s s o c i a t e d  with J  more s k i l l f u l w r i t i n g ?  What forms o f w r i t i n g do more  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s engage i n most 2.  More e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s chose t e l e v i s i o n viewing  as a s o l i t a r y a c t i v i t y  l e s s o f t e n than d i d l e s s e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s both q u e s t i o n n a i r e indicated.  higher  and i n t e r v i e w r e s u l t s  T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n i s much l i k e those  by such r e s e a r c h e r s Clark  often?  (1976).  provided  as Durkin ( 1 9 6 6 ) , Monk ( 1 9 5 8 ) , and  Each of these r e s e a r c h e r s  found that  a c h i e v i n g c h i l d r e n spent l e s s time watching  134  television Clark  than  d i d lower a c h i e v i n g  found t h a t  selectively,  prefer  e a r l y r e a d e r s watched  often p r e f e r r i n g to read  Investigations c o n d u c t e d by  o f how  c h i l d r e n use  D u r k i n and  solitary  Clark  activities  t h e m s e l v e s when  children help  is  these and  about t e l e v i s i o n  writers  to choose  writers  do,  higher  activities  and  playing  c h i l d r e n achieve  i t less often describe  they  occupy  Also,  achieving alone  could  levels  f i n d i n g out  of  what i t  c a u s e s more e f f e c t i v e than the  less effective activities  findings  concerning  were f o u n d  which  were b e t t e r fathers  Fraser  the  and  i n the  r e s u l t s showed t h a t  than d i d the  Monk (1958) .and  prove  higher  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  higher  are  writing.  significant  Questionnaire  more l e t t e r s  to  could  why  viewing that  with better  Two  readers  them, and  o f why  out  less effective writers  study.  question  writing.  would h e l p  between f a t h e r s of  Finding  prefer quiet  associated  early  excellent a b i l i t y  i n t o the  to p a r e n t s .  in reading  3.  adept at  c h i l d r e n watch l e s s t e l e v i s i o n  e x p l a i n why  skill  l e i s u r e time  alone.  Future research  helpful  instead.  their  are  Additionally,  television  concluded that  and  ( e a r l y r e a d e r s ) a l s o have an  achieving  children.  the  fathers  current  the  educated  differences  fathers  and  of  wrote  of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  (1973) b o t h f o u n d a c l o s e  135  r e l a t i o n s h i p between the occupations o f f a t h e r s and the s c h o o l progress o f c h i l d r e n . these f i n d i n g s .  The present study  confirms  Few d e s c r i p t i o n s of the l e t t e r - w r i t i n g  h a b i t s of f a t h e r s , however, were found  i n the l i t e r a t u r e .  For t h i s reason the f i n d i n g of t h i s study t h a t f a t h e r s of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s wrote l e t t e r s more o f t e n than did the f a t h e r s of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s i s u s e f u l i n d e s c r i b i n g the environments of more e f f e c t i v e  writers.  I t seems p o s s i b l e t h a t these two f a c t o r s are r e l a t e d . L e t t e r w r i t i n g may w e l l be an a c t i v i t y t h a t i s a s s o c i a t e d with higher l e v e l s of e d u c a t i o n .  Put another way,  those  with h i g h e r l e v e l s of education may do more w r i t i n g i n t h e i r l e i s u r e time than do those w i t h l e s s education. T h i s i s a q u e s t i o n f o r f u t u r e r e s e a r c h e r s to e x p l o r e . 4.  The c u r r e n t study a l s o found t h a t vthe parents  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were more s a t i s f i e d with r e a d i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the s c h o o l s and t h a t they read aloud t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n more o f t e n ( a f t e r t h e i r c h i l d r e n had l e a r n e d t o read) than d i d the parents of l e s s  effective  writers. Interview r e s u l t s confirmed the d e s c r i p t i o n above.  Parents o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s expressed  much more s a t i s f a c t i o n with the s c h o o l s i n g e n e r a l and the r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n  specifically.  I t seems l o g i c a l t h a t parents of c h i l d r e n who are  136  s u c c e s s f u l i n s c h o o l would be s a t i s f i e d w i t h the job the schools a r e doing.  I t should be noted,  however, t h a t  the r e s u l t s o f the present study a l s o show t h a t the parents o f high a c h i e v i n g students d i d n ' t leave a l l the t e a c h i n g t o the s c h o o l s .  While f e e l i n g  satisfied  w i t h the job done by the s c h o o l s , they s t i l l need t o give t h e i r c h i l d r e n h e l p a t home. should explore why such parents f e l t  f e l t the'  Future r e s e a r c h  compelled  t o help  with a job they f e l t the schools were h a n d l i n g q u i t e competently. Reading aloud t o c h i l d r e n by t h e i r parents was something which previous r e s e a r c h had found was r e l a t e d to  c h i l d r e n ' s l a t e r performances i n r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g .  Monk (1958), Durkin this finding.  (1966), and C l a r k (1976) a l l r e p o r t e d  Therefore  i t was n o t s u r p r i s i n g to f i n d  an a s s o c i a t i o n between w r i t i n g s k i l l and b e i n g read aloud to  i n the c u r r e n t study.  There was a s u r p r i s i n g  in the c u r r e n t study however.  finding  A stronger a s s o c i a t i o n  between w r i t i n g s k i l l and r e a d i n g aloud by parents  after  c h i l d r e n had l e a r n e d t o read f o r themselves was found than was found  between w r i t i n g s k i l l  by parents before c h i l d r e n  and r e a d i n g aloud  could read f o r themselves.  T h i s f i n d i n g may be due t o the r a r i t y o f r e a d i n g aloud by parents a f t e r c h i l d r e n can read f o r themselves. is,  That  while many parents read aloud t o t h e i r p r e s c h o o l e r s ,  137  only parents w i t h an extremely c h i l d r e n ' s progress  strong interest i n their  i n r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g s k i l l s  take  time t o read aloud to t h e i r c h i l d r e n a f t e r the c h i l d r e n can read f o r themselves.  This i s a question f o r future  researchers. One q u e s t i o n r a i s e d by these  f i n d i n g s i s why some  parents choose t o do these b e n e f i c i a l t h i n g s with c h i l d r e n while others do n o t .  Future  their  researchers  a d d r e s s i n g t h i s q u e s t i o n could p r o v i d e i n f o r m a t i o n of use to parents, students, and those who work w i t h  both  of these groups by answering t h i s q u e s t i o n . Two r e s u l t s of the c u r r e n t study which approached s i g n i f i c a n c e a t the .05  l e v e l of confidence are d i s c u s s e d  below. 1.  One o f the r e s u l t s of the present study which  approached s i g n i f i c a n c e a t the .05  l e v e l o f confidence  was t h a t more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s e x h i b i t e d an e a r l i e r i n t e r e s t i n l e a r n i n g how t o p r i n t than d i d l e s s  effective  writers.  responses  also.  This result  Interviewees  i s supported  by i n t e r v i e w  who were parents o f more e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s o f t e n d e s c r i b e d t h e i r c h i l d r e n as having an early interest much i n t e r e s t  in printing.  Durkin  (1966)  observed  i n p r i n t i n g was shown a t an e a r l y age by  the e a r l y r e a d e r s whom she i n v e s t i g a t e d as w e l l . success  that  The  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s i n t h e i r w r i t i n g  138  a c t i v i t i e s seems t o e x p l a i n t h e i r tendency  to participate  in  such a c t i v i t i e s more o f t e n because they found  to  be an enjoyable a c t i v i t y .  i s what caused  Another  writing  important q u e s t i o n  the success of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s i n  their writing a c t i v i t i e s .  Future r e s e a r c h e r s could  e x p l o r e t h i s q u e s t i o n as w e l l as the q u e s t i o n of what prompts more e f f e c t i v e readers and w r i t e r s t o show e a r l i e r i n t e r e s t i n r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s than peers?  their  The s t r o n g i n t e r e s t shown by such c h i l d r e n has  been found t o begin a t q u i t e an e a r l y age. 2.  The second r e s u l t of the present study which  approached  s i g n i f i c a n c e a t the .05 l e v e l o f confidence  was that the parents of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s l e s s s t r o n g l y than d i d the parents o f l e s s  agreed  effective  w r i t e r s that c h i l d r e n should h e l p pay f o r the b i l l s a t home.  This r e s u l t f i t s  the d e s c r i p t i o n o f home  management s t y l e s which emerges from the c u r r e n t study. A home management s t y l e t h a t j u d i c i o u s l y delegated r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o c h i l d r e n was.:a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the homes of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  Parents i n t h i s group  expressed more agreement than d i d the parents of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s with the statements  c h i l d r e n should  help a t home by doing r e g u l a r chores and parent should not always be checking the homework of t h e i r  children.  139  On  other i s s u e s ,  writers  however, parents of more e f f e c t i v e  f e l t they must r e t a i n more c o n t r o l .  more e f f e c t i v e writer's  d i d not  agree as s t r o n g l y  parents of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s children  should be  d i d with the  programs to watch.  parents of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  As  findings  did.  d e s c r i b e d above suggest t h a t  effective writers  i n the  choices  well,  than  The the  the  non-significant  parents of more  c u r r e n t study seemed b e t t e r  to make wise c h o i c e s i n the to t h e i r c h i l d r e n  statement  placed more r e s t r i c t i o n s  t e l e v i s i o n viewing of t h e i r c h i l d r e n  parents of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  of  as  able to make most of t h e i r own  about books to read and  on the  Parents  able  d e l e g a t i n g of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  than d i d the  parents of l e s s  effective  writers. E x p l o r a t i o n s by  f u t u r e r e s e a r c h e r s of how  of more e f f e c t i v e readers and  writers  came to  parents decisions  about d e l e g a t i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y c o u l d prove u s e f u l parents. to be  to  E f f e c t i v e d e l e g a t i o n of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y appears  a s s o c i a t e d with s u p e r i o r achievement i n r e a d i n g  and  writing. The  following  effective writers results at the 1.  of the .05  discussion and  of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  less effective writers  c u r r e n t study which were not  i s based  i n r e a d i n g and  on  significant  l e v e l of c o n f i d e n c e . A strong interest  of more  writing  was e x h i b i t e d by more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and t h e i r These parents e x h i b i t e d a s t r o n g e r i n t e r e s t  parents.  i n their  c h i l d r e n ' s g e n e r a l s c h o o l progress than d i d the parents of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  Parents  of more e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s i n the present study showed t h i s i n t e r e s t by r e a d i n g through  stronger  their children's written  assignments more r e g u l a r l y , r e a d i n g aloud t o t h e i r p r e s c h o o l e r s more r e g u l a r l y , t a l k i n g about ideas f o r w r i t i n g more o f t e n with t h e i r c h i l d r e n , and e x p r e s s i n g a s t r o n g e r agreement t h a t l e a r n i n g t o read was a n a t u r a l p a r t o f t h e i r home l i v e s than d i d the parents  of less  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s r e s u l t s from i n t e r v i e w s and q u e s t i o n n a i r e s indicated. T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n matches the f i n d i n g o f such r e s e a r c h e r s as C l a r k (1976), Monk (1958),  and Durkin  (1966).  C l a r k s t a t e d t h a t the v e r b a l i n t e r a c t i o n which she found i n the homes o f e a r l y readers was welcomed and encouraged by p a r e n t s .  She a l s o concluded  t h a t these parents  p a r t i n t h i s v e r b a l i n t e r a c t i o n by t a l k i n g w i t h  took  their  c h i l d r e n and answering t h e i r q u e s t i o n s even when time a l l o t t e d f o r other a c t i v i t i e s had t o be used t o do s o . F u r t h e r r e s u l t s o f the present study showed t h a t more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s e x h i b i t e d a s t r o n g e r i n t e r e s t i n and more frequent p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s than l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d .  This  141  d e s c r i p t i o n of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s ones provided Durkin ( 1 9 6 6 ) .  by Monk ,(195?),  i s s i m i l a r to"the  Goodacre ( 1 9 7 0 ) , and  Monk and Goodacre both found t h a t the  amount o f time spent i n home study was r e l a t e d t o c h i l d r e n ' s school attainment.  These s t r o n g  i n t e r e s t s i n reading  and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s were a l s o d i s c o v e r e d  i n the c u r r e n t  study. In summary, both the parents of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and the more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s themselves showed strong  i n t e r e s t i n the r e a d i n g  and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s  which the c h i l d r e n p a r t i c i p a t e d i n .  The c u r r e n t  i d e n t i f i e s many of the c o n d i t i o n s present of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s . future researchers interest 2.  i n reading  study  i n the homes  An important q u e s t i o n f o r  i s what f a c t o r s cause t h i s  strong  and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s t o develop.  Data gathered i n the present  study supported  the d e s c r i p t i o n of the home c o n d i t i o n s w r i t e r s as " f a v o r a b l e " .  The c u r r e n t  o f more e f f e c t i v e  study showed that  f a t h e r s of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s h e l d more h i g h l y  skilled  jobs than d i d the f a t h e r s of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s . The  current  study a l s o showed that the homes o f more  e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s contained  more books f o r c h i l d r e n than  did the homes of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s . Larger  numbers o f books i n the home were a s s o c i a t e d  with s u p e r i o r w r i t i n g a b i l i t y by Monk ( 1 9 5 8 ) .  Monk  142  (1958) and F r a s e r  (1973) both found a c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p  between the occupations progress  of f a t h e r s and the s c h o o l  of c h i l d r e n .  Previous  r e s e a r c h has suggested t h a t the number of  books and other r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g m a t e r i a l s i n the home i s a t l e a s t p a r t l y dependent on the o c c u p a t i o n a l l e v e l of the p a r e n t s . by f u t u r e r e s e a r c h e r s  T h i s assumption should be examined i n g r e a t e r d e t a i l t o determine  how s t r o n g an i n f l u e n c e on w r i t i n g the o c c u p a t i o n a l l e v e l of parents The  question  i s and why i t e x e r t s such an i n f l u e n c e .  of what kinds  of r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g m a t e r i a l s  are most c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d with w r i t i n g s k i l l q u e s t i o n r e q u i r i n g i n v e s t i g a t i o n by f u t u r e 3.  Leisure a c t i v i t i e s  of c h i l d r e n .  w r i t e r s i n the c u r r e n t study  present  researchers. More e f f e c t i v e  e x h i b i t e d an a b i l i t y t o  occupy themselves and a preference The  i s also a  for solitary  activities.  study a l s o showed t h a t more e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s chose r e a d i n g and making t h i n g s with t h e i r hands more o f t e n than l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d and the more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s chose t e l e v i s i o n v i e w i n g  less often  than the l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d . Durkin  (1966) and C l a r k  readers whom they  i n v e s t i g a t e d as p r e f e r r i n g s o l i t a r y  a c t i v i t i e s and having when alone.  (I976) d e s c r i b e d the e a r l y  an a b i l i t y  t o occupy themselves  This i s a d e s c r i p t i o n strongly  supported  143  by the data gathered  i n the c u r r e n t study.  How such  p r e f e r e n c e s are developed and why such a c t i v i t i e s are p r e f e r e n c e s of e a r l y readers are q u e s t i o n s f o r f u t u r e researchers.  I t seems l o g i c a l t h a t s i n c e both r e a d i n g  and w r i t i n g are s o l i t a r y a c t i v i t i e s ,  s k i l l f u l readers and  w r i t e r s would p r e f e r such a c t i v i t i e s .  However, many  s o l i t a r y a c t i v i t i e s have no other s i m i l a r i t y t o r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g other than the f a c t that they are done alone and done q u i e t l y .  Why these seemingly  unlike  activities  are a s s o c i a t e d i s a q u e s t i o n s t i l l needing t o be answered. 4.  Parents  1  the c u r r e n t study  opinions.  Non-significant results i n  showed that the parents of more  effective  w r i t e r s e x h i b i t e d a d e s i r e f o r a good e d u c a t i o n f o r their children.  Parents of more e f f e c t i v e  writers  expressed s t r o n g e r agreement (although d i f f e r e n c e s were not s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t ) than the parents of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d with such ideas as (a) parents should h e l p t h e i r c h i l d r e n l e a r n t o read and w r i t e , (b) parents shouldn't h e s i t a t e t o v i s i t and  the s c h o o l s ,  (c) h e l p i n g c h i l d r e n with r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a t home  should be a n a t u r a l p a r t of everyday study a l s o determined  life.  t h a t parents of more  The p r e s e n t effective  w r i t e r s were more s a t i s f i e d with w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the s c h o o l s than were parents of l e s s e f f e c t i v e Clark  writers.  (1976) d e s c r i b e d both the r e s p e c t f o r the  144  value of education and the d e s i r e they had f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n t o have a good e d u c a t i o n expressed by the parents of e a r l y r e a d e r s . had  strong  strongly  respect  f o r the v a l u e o f e d u c a t i o n and were  concerned t h a t t h e i r c h i l d r e n r e c e i v e  education.  Because of C l a r k ' s  r e s u l t s of the c u r r e n t surprising,  a good  (I976) f i n d i n g s , the  study were expected.  I t was not  f o r example, t o f i n d that more e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s had a strong well.  She found t h a t such parents  desire  f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n t o do  Nor was i t unexpected t o l e a r n t h a t parents of  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s were more s a t i s f i e d with w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the schools than were parents of l e s s effective writers.  What was most i n t e r e s t i n g among  t h e s e r e s u l t s was t h a t the parents of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s , while quite i n the s c h o o l s ,  still  s a t i s f i e d with w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n felt  i t was necessary t o h e l p  t h e i r c h i l d r e n l e a r n the s k i l l s 5. Hall  Language modeling.  ( 1 9 7 6 ) described  of r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g .  As d e s c r i b e d  i n Chapter Two,  the homes of e a r l y w r i t e r s  where c h i l d r e n r e g u l a r l y saw others w r i t i n g . questionnaire ascertained  and i n t e r v i e w  By u s i n g  r e s u l t s the c u r r e n t  that both mothers and f a t h e r s  as p l a c e s  study  o f more e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s p a r t i c i p a t e d i n more w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s a t home than d i d the parents o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  This  was not an unexpected r e s u l t .  had l e d  Previous research  145  the  researcher  w r i t i n g was writers. More is  to  happening i n the  of  parents  courses  further  (for  r e a d and what should also  unanswered. is  written  explore  suggests that  parental  researchers the  is  or t h e i r  w r i t i n g r e q u i r e d to  A definitive  answer  which  be  to  that  writers  than mothers  current  study  this in  produces  factor  of  more m o t h e r s less  worked o u t s i d e  effective the  effective  writers  in  home s u g g e s t e d  strongly  associated  r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g s k i l l  as  previous  research  arrived  it of  was.  Instead,  this  j o b h e l d by m o t h e r s ,  home,  r e c e i v e d were  or the  type  strongly  of  care  related  to  time  their  at  with  had  suggested that the  the  that  as  type  alone  o f more  was n o t  the  done  writers. The f a c t  suggested  usually  leisure  w o u l d be u s e f u l  environment  the  in writing  of parents  example  or c l u b s ) .  describing  6.  remain  participate  occupation  by f u t u r e  effective  is  effective  i n r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s  p r o m p t e d by t h e pursuits  more r e a d i n g and  however,  The c u r r e n t s t u d y  participation  question  to  that  homes o f more  Future researchers  activities.  this  find  i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t what  motivations  for  to  Several questions,  needed.  time  expect  perhaps  which  they  children  r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g  skill. The c u r r e n t s t u d y ,  in fact,  revealed  a  stronger  146  association skill  between w r i t i n g s k i l l and o c c u p a t i o n a l  l e v e l o f mothers than  i t d i d between w r i t i n g  and the f a c t t h a t mothers worked.  This fact  skill  supports  the idea t h a t something about the occupations h e l d bymothers was more important  i n the a s s o c i a t i o n between  w r i t i n g s k i l l and mothers' occupations than  simply  whether or not they h e l d jobs outside the home.  Future  r e s e a r c h t o c l a r i f y what aspects o f the o c c u p a t i o n a l s t a t u s o f mothers are a s s o c i a t e d with w r i t i n g would be h e l p f u l i n d e s c r i b i n g t h i s 7.  skill  interrelationship.  R e s u l t s which were not i n the hypothesized  direction.  (a) In c o n d u c t i n g the c u r r e n t study, the  r e s e a r c h e r expected  t o f i n d t h a t mothers o f more e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s worked outside the home the same amount or with l e s s frequency than d i d the mothers of l e s s writers.  As r e p o r t e d , i n Chapter  effective  Two, C l a r k (1976)  found few mothers o f e a r l y readers worked o u t s i d e the home and H a l l  (1976) r e p o r t e d t h a t about 50 percent of  the mothers o f e a r l y r e a d e r s worked o u t s i d e the home. In  the c u r r e n t study, however, more o f the mothers o f  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s worked o u t s i d e the home a t some time s i n c e t h e i r c h i l d r e n had been born than d i d mothers of  less effective writers.  A d d i t i o n a l l y , the percentage  of  mothers o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s who had worked  o u t s i d e the home was 81 percent - a much, h i g h e r f i g u r e  147  than expected.  Future r e s e a r c h e r s should examine the  q u e s t i o n of why more mothers of c h i l d r e n i n the higher a c h i e v i n g group worked o u t s i d e the home than d i d mothers of  c h i l d r e n i n the lower a c h i e v i n g group.  study suggests  The present  t h a t the a s s o c i a t i o n of t h i s f a c o r alone +  with r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g s k i l l was not as s t r o n g as previous r e s e a r c h had suggested.  Perhaps some other  aspect of the mother's work such as the type of job or the a r r i v a l time a t home are f a c t o r s which do i n f l u e n c e r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g s k i l l . Taylor  (1981),  (b)  (1976),  F i n d i n g s of H a l l  C l a r k (1976), and Durkin  (1966) d e s c r i b e  an abundance of language modeling and i n t e r a c t i o n  behaviors  i n the homes of c h i l d r e n who had s u p e r i o r s k i l l s of r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g .  The r e s e a r c h e r i n the c u r r e n t  study t h e r e f o r e expected  t o f i n d more h e l p with w r i t i n g  being g i v e n t o more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than t o l e s s effective writers.  The present study found  that i n the  area of d i s c u s s i o n of w r i t i n g ideas t h i s was true but slightly  l e s s help i n the areas of g e t t i n g s t a r t e d on  a.-signments, r e v i s i n g , and p r o o f r e a d i n g was given by parents  of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s than by parents of l e s s  effective writers.  Such f i n d i n g s suggest  t h a t i n the  homes of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s more g e n e r a l  interaction  about r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g took place i n everyday  life  than d i d i n the homes of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s .  The  148  i n t e r a c t i o n about w r i t i n g which took p l a c e  i n the homes  of l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s , however, was u s u a l l y s p e c i f i c and  focused on h e l p with assignments r a t h e r  discussion  about r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g .  More  than g e n e r a l descriptions  of the i n t e r a c t i o n about r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g which takes place  between parents and t h e i r c h i l d r e n needs t o be  gathered by f u t u r e C.  researchers.  PROFILES OF WRITERS AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS Results  descriptions  from the c u r r e n t  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and l e s s e f f e c t i v e  w r i t e r s which f o l l o w . differences  study r e v e a l e d the  between  Asterisks  i n d i c a t e that s i g n i f i c a n t  the groups were found on t h a t  variable. 1.  The Home Background of the More E f f e c t i v e W r i t e r a)  C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of c h i l d r e n i n the group o f more effective  writers:  - e a r l y mastery of r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g * -a g r e a t e r  skills  amount o f l e i s u r e time was spent  p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g by more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s  activities  than by l e s s e f f e c t i v e  writers -strong  preference f o r quiet  for playing  indoor games and  alone  * - l e s s frequent t e l e v i s i o n v i e w i n g than l e s s effective  writers  149  -a s t r o n g i n t e r e s t  i n school  . b) C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the parents of c h i l d r e n i n the group of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s : -more r e a d i n g aloud t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n before  their  c h i l d r e n l e a r n e d t o read * -more r e a d i n g aloud t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n a f t e r  their  c h i l d r e n read f o r themselves - p l a c e d more r e s t r i c t i o n s on c h i l d r e n ' s t e l e v i s i o n viewing - r e g u l a r l y read p r e l i m i n a r y d r a f t s of t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s work -made r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g m a t e r i a l s f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s use r e a d i l y -parents  o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s expressed  agreement t h a t parents and v i s i t * -expressed in  available strong  should a c t i v e l y h e l p out  the schools much s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h s c h o o l  instruction  reading  - s t r o n g l y b e l i e v e d t h a t parents should h e l p  their  c h i l d r e n a t home with l e a r n i n g the s k i l l s of r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g -strongly f e l t  c h i l d r e n should h e l p by doing chores  at home c) C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the mothers o f students i n the group o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s :  150  -did several  d i f f e r e n t kinds o f w r i t i n g  both  at home and at work -read through t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s  assignments more  o f t e n than the mothers of l e s s e f f e c t i v e  writers  did -regularly  worked o u t s i d e t h e i r homes  -possessed h i g h l y  skilled  jobs and h i g h e r  of education than the mothers of l e s s  levels  effective  writers d)  Characteristics the  of the f a t h e r s  group of more e f f e c t i v e  of c h i l d r e n i n  writers:  * -wrote more l e t t e r s than f a t h e r s effective -regularly  of l e s s  writers discussed  ideas f o r w r i t i n g  with t h e i r  children -held more h i g h l y  skilled  jobs than f a t h e r s  of  less effective writers did * -possessed h i g h e r l e v e l s of e d u c a t i o n than d i d the  fathers  of l e s s e f f e c t i v e  writers  The  Home Background of the Less E f f e c t i v e  a)  Characteristics -showed l e s s less interest  of l e s s e f f e c t i v e  interest  i n learning  Writers  writers: to p r i n t and  i n s c h o o l than d i d more e f f e c t i v e  writers -were a l s o r e p o r t e d t o spend l e s s of t h e i r  151  l e i s u r e time w r i t i n g ,  completing homework, and  r e a d i n g than more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d -had  strong interest  i n active,  outdoor  games  -watched more hours o f t e l e v i s i o n each week than d i d more e f f e c t i v e b)  Characteristics  writers  of the parents o f l e s s  effective  writers: -provided fewer books and chalkboards children's  for their  use and read aloud t o t h e i r  children  l e s s o f t e n than d i d the parents o f more e f f e c t i v e writers - r e s t r i c t e d the t e l e v i s i o n v i e w i n g of t h e i r children  less  - f e l t reluctant -felt  to v i s i t  the s c h o o l  uninvited  somewhat d i s s a t i s f i e d with the job the  schools were doing i n t e a c h i n g r e a d i n g and writing -felt  less strongly  effective writers  (than the parents of more  d i d ) that  r e a d i n g aloud should  be done a t home c)  Characteristics  of the mothers o f c h i l d r e n i n  the group o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e  writers:  - d i d fewer d i f f e r e n t kinds of w r i t i n g  a t home  and a t work than d i d the mothers of more writers  effective  152  -held l e s s h i g h l y s k i l l e d  jobs and possessed  lower l e v e l s of education  than the mothers of  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d -worked outside  the home l e s s o f t e n than d i d the  mothers o f more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d)  C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the f a t h e r s o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e writers: -wrote fewer l e t t e r s than d i d the f a t h e r s of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s -held l e s s h i g h l y s k i l l e d  jobs and possessed  lower l e v e l s of education  than the f a t h e r s of  more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s d i d . D.  EPILOGUE T h i s study suggests t h a t a good environment f o r an  a s p i r i n g w r i t e r would be a home i n which (1) and  reading  w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s take place r e g u l a r l y and are o f t e n  discussed;  (2)  language s k i l l s  parents and s i b l i n g s r e g u l a r l y model and have p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e s toward the  a c q u i s i t i o n of these s k i l l s ; occupational  skill  (3)  the e d u c a t i o n a l and  l e v e l s of parents are high and r e a d i n g  and w r i t i n g m a t e r i a l s are r e a d i l y a c c e s s i b l e ; and (4) a p o r t i o n o f the w r i t e r ' s l e i s u r e time i s devoted t o q u i e t , indoor,  creative a c t i v i t i e s  while e x c l u d i n g  i n c l u d i n g r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g  l a r g e amounts of t e l e v i s i o n v i e w i n g .  A h i g h frequency of both r e a d i n g  and w r i t i n g  153  a c t i v i t i e s t a k i n g place  or being d i s c u s s e d  a t home were  f a c t o r s of home environment most c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d with w r i t i n g s k i l l  i n the present  study.  Such a c t i v i t i e s  are c l e a r l y a d e s i r a b l e component of the w r i t e r ' s environment. The current  f a c t o r s o f environment which are found by the study to have the next s t r o n g e s t  association  with w r i t i n g s k i l l were the language m o d e l l i n g and opinions  of parents and s i b l i n g s .  toward r e a d i n g  and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s ,  c h i l d r e n l e a r n the s k i l l s , reading  Positive attitudes interest i n helping  and r e g u l a r m o d e l l i n g of  and w r i t i n g were f e a t u r e s a s s o c i a t e d with b e t t e r  writing. The .current study found an a s s o c i a t i o n between w r i t i n g s k i l l and c e r t a i n home s i t u a t i o n f a c t o r s ; f o r example, e d u c a t i o n a l  and o c c u p a t i o n a l  the number of books i n the home.  skill  l e v e l and  T h i s a s s o c i a t i o n was  not as s t r o n g as the one found between w r i t i n g s k i l l and the frequency of language a c t i v i t i e s t a k i n g place a t home. L e i s u r e time t h a t was devoted t o a c t i v i t i e s than r e a d i n g  and w r i t i n g was not s t r o n g l y  with c h i l d r e n ' s s k i l l already  of w r i t i n g .  other  associated  However, i t has  been notes t h a t the- b e t t e r w r i t e r s p r e f e r r e d  154  and  spent s i g n i f i c a n t amounts of t h e i r l e i s u r e time i n  quiet,  indoor a c t i v i t i e s which i n c l u d e d r e a d i n g and  writing. The Durkin  c u r r e n t study concurs with the f i n d i n g s of  (1966) who concluded t h a t home environment  was  c a u s a t i v e i n the s u p e r i o r achievement of c h i l d r e n i n language  skill  development (p. 10). The present study  found c h i l d r e n ' s r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g a c t i v i t i e s a t home to  be c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d with w r i t i n g s k i l l .  r e s u l t s suggest the importance home.  To paraphrase  Hall  of encouraging w r i t i n g a t  (1976), to f a c i l i t a t e  i n both w r i t i n g and r e a d i n g and perhaps initial  These  interest  c o n t r i b u t e to  success i n s c h o o l , parents should provide w r i t i n g  m a t e r i a l s , w r i t e with t h e i r c h i l d r e n , and demonstrate model of w r i t i n g behavior (p. 585)•  a  155  References Ainsworth, M. E., & Batten, E. J . ( 1 9 7 4 ) .  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(I967) An i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of  excellence  i n expository  composition performance i n  a selected  9A p o p u l a t i o n  with an a n a l y s i s  for superior  performance ( D o c t o r a l  Columbia U n i v e r s i t y ,  I967).  of reasons  dissertation,  Dissertation  Abstracts  International. 6 8 , 2432. Michel, and  Henry C. ( 1 9 6 3 ) Research on t e a c h i n g l i t e r a t u r e In N.L. Gage (Ed.)  on t e a c h i n g  (pp.  966-974).  composition  Handbook of r e s e a r c h  Chicago:  Rand McNally.  Monk, Richard H.J. ( 1 9 5 8 ) . A Study t o determine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between c h i l d r e n ' s and  t h e i r school  home environments  achievement i n w r i t t e n  English.  Unpublished d o c t o r a l  d i s s e r t a t i o n , University of  Washington, S e a t t l e ,  WA.  Musgrove, F. ( I 9 6 I ) . school.  Parents e x p e c t a t i o n s o f the j u n i o r  S o c i o l o g i c a l Review. 9_ ( 2 ) , 167-180.  159  Oppenheim, A. M.(1966). Q u e s t i o n n a i r e design and a t t i t u d e measurement.  London:  Parents and the primary s c h o o l : opinion.  Heinemann.  "  A survey o f p a r e n t a l  (1975). E d u c a t i o n a l Research,  17 ( 3 ) .  229-235. S i e g e l , Sidney. ;  (1956).  Nonparametric S t a t i s t i c s f o r  the B e h a v i o r a l S c i e n c e s . Hill  New York, NY:  McGraw-  Book Company.  Simpson, George F. (1973) Measures o f w r i t i n g of f o u r t h , f i f t h ,  ability  and s i x t h grade c h i l d r e n ( D o c t o r a l  d i s s e r t a t i o n , Kent S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y ,  1973).  D i s s e r t a t i o n A b s t r a c t s I n t e r n a t i o n a l , 7_, S o c i a l and Community P l a n n i n g Research.  7339.  (1972).  Q u e s t i o n n a i r e design manual ( T e c h n i c a l manual number 5)  The I n s t i t u t e of S o c i a l and Community P l a n n i n g  Research:  London.  Spence, Janet T., Cotton, John W,, Underwood, Benton J . , & Duncan, C a r l P. (19?6). Englewood C l i f f s ,  MJ1  T a y l o r , Denny. ( I 9 8 I ) . of l i t e r a c y  skills  i n Reading. 4 (2), Van De Veghe, R i c h a r d . composition:  Elementary  Statistics.  Prentice-Hall.  The f a m i l y and the development and v a l u e s .  J o u r n a l o f Research  92-103. (1978).  Research  in written  F i f t e e n years o f i n v e s t i g a t i o n .  Mexico State U n i v e r s i t y . S e r v i c e No. ED 157 095)  (ERIC Document  New  Reproduction  160  Young, M i c h a e l , & McGeeney, P a t r i c k . "begins at home.  London:  (1968).  Learning  Routledge & Regan P a u l .  161  APPENDIX A W r i t e r s ' Home Background Q u e s t i o n n a i r e and D i r e c t i o n s f o r Completion The q u e s t i o n s ask you t o c i r c l e of a sentence,  a number i n f r o n t  mark a box, or w r i t e a s h o r t answer t o  a question. For q u e s t i o n s t h a t give three or more numbered c h o i c e s , p l e a s e choose the answer which you most c l o s e l y agree with and c i r c l e  the number i n f r o n t o f i t .  Some q u e s t i o n s w i l l c o n t a i n a s c a l e with c h o i c e s of answers from one extreme t o another  ( f o r example:  s t r o n g l y agree to s t r o n g l y d i s a g r e e ) .  On these q u e s t i o n s ,  boxes w i l l be provided and. you are t o put an X i n the box which corresponds  t o your preference f o r each p a r t of  the q u e s t i o n . I f no choice i s given, blanks w i l l be p r o v i d e d . Please answer i n a word or two or a s h o r t sentence i f you  like. Since t h i s q u e s t i o n n a i r e concerns  the home  environment o f your c h i l d who brought the q u e s t i o n n a i r e home, p l e a s e keep h i s / h e r experience answer the q u e s t i o n s .  i n mind as you  162  WRITER'S HOME BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIRE  Directions:  Please c i r c l e the number which corresponds Co the answer of your choice. READING AND WRITING ACTIVITIES  A  YOUR ACTIVITIES  1. a) Indicate the number of letters you usually write at home. 1. one or more each week 2.  or two each month  3. fewer than one per month 4. none- I use other means to contact friends and relatives b)  T e l l how many letters your husband usually writes at home. 1. one or more each week 2. one or two each month 3. fewer than one per month 4. none- he uses other means to contact friends and relatives  c)  What other types of writing do you do * t home?  What other types of writing do you do at work, i f you work outside the heme?  5  TODS C__'S  ACTIVITIES  How often does your child bring home a written assignment which has been handed back to her/him for you to look at? 1. quits rsgularly  3. occasionally  2. 8ometlir.es  4. never  Please do not nark i n this column.  163  Please do not mark i n this column. 3.  Please describe how often your child uses his leisure time at home to do writing (excluding homework assignments) by c i r c l i n g the number next to your answer choice below.  •  1. once every day or more often 2. every couple of days 3. about once a week 4. about once a month or less often 5. she/he rarely writes at home 6. she/he never writes at home 4.  Indicate the s k i l l with which your child printed upon entering grade one. 1. he/she did not print  •  2. he/she printed a few things (name, etc.) 3. he/she printed most things 5.  Try to r e c a l l the age at which your child f i r s t showed an interest i n learning how to print. Please indicate that age by c i r c l i n g the number beside i t on the l i s t below. 1. three years of age  3. five years of age  2. four years of age  4. six years of age  6. Please t e l l how often your c h i l d does each of the following types of writing at home by putting an X i n one of the boxes beside each type of writing. 1. letters 2. stories 3. poems 4. diaries 5. other  (please describe)  •  •  7.  8.  9.  Which type of writing Listed below would yon say your child does best? 1.  letters  2.  stories  3.  poems  4.  notes  5.  diaries  6.  other (please describe)  To the best of your knowledge, what was the order i n which your child learned how to print and how to read?  a)  b)  1.  f i r s t printing was learned; then reading  2.  the two s k i l l s were learned at about the same time  3.  f i r s t reading was learned; then printing  About how often does your c h i l d usually work on homework? 1.  each school night  2.  two or three school nights each week  3.  once a week or less often  When your child works on homework, how long does he/she usually spend? 1.  one hour or longer  3.  2.  f o r t y - f i v e minutes  4.. f i f t e e n minutes or less  t h i r t y minutes  10. Before your c h i l d attended school, what attempts did you make to teach her/him how to print? 1.  I made no attempts to teach printing.  2.  I shoved her/him how to form letters.  3.  I l e t her/him experiment on her/his own and provided materials  4.  other (please describe)  165  Please do not mark i n this column.  a.  When your child has a written assignment to do for school. Indicate the frequency with which you give the following kinds of help by placing an X i n one of the boxes beside each a c t i v i t y . Q. Q-  A) help on getting started or coming up with ideas B)  help on revising or making It mere clear to the reader  C) help on proofreading (checking the correctness of spelling and punctuation)  12.  • ••• • • •  a) How often does your child bring home a written assignment which has already received a mark from a teacher to show you? 1. regularly 2. occasionally 3. seldom 4. never b) Again, place an X i n one of the boxes beside each a c t i v i t y l i s t ed below to show how often you do that a c t i v i t y . When your child shows you a written assignment which has already received a mark from a teacher, how often do you:  13.  A)  read through the paper yourself  B)  contact the teacher to d i s cuss the assignment  &  NJQi  •••• • •••• • 05?"  Please think back to the time before your child had learned to read for hicself/herself. Which of the phrases below best describes the amount of reading aloud you did to him/her then? one or more times each day  4. once every few weeks  2. once every few days  5. rarely  3. once a week  6. never  •  166  Please do not mark i n this column. L4  -Since-your child has.learned to read for herself/himself, how often do you read aloud to her/him? 1. one or more times each day  4. once every few weeks  2. once every few days  5. rarely  3. once a week  6. never  •  BACKGROUND A) GENERAL INFORMATION 15.  16.  17.  Please indicate which of the phrases below best describes a chalkboard of any size i n your home. 1.  We do not have a chalkboard of any size i n our home.  2.  i t i s a large one- free standing or attached to a wall  3.  i t i s a small one- carried by children and used on the lap  How many books for children would you estimate that you have i n your home? 1.  more than f i f t y  2.  between twenty-one and f i f t y  3.  between eleven and twenty  4.  ten or fewer  I f you have ever worked outside the home at any time since your child was born, please answer the following questions. I f you have not worked outside the home since he/she was born, please go on to question number eighteen after putting an X i n this box.j—| a) How much did you work, on the average, btf.ore your child started to attend school? 1. - less than two.hours per day 2.  between two and four hours per day  3.  between four and s i x hours per day  4. between six and eight hours per day 5.  eight hours per day or more  P  • •  167  Please do not mark i n this column. b) Describe the amount you work at the present time. 1. I do not work outside the home at the present time.  •  2. I finish work before 3:00 pm. 3. I f i n i s h work between 3:00 and 4:30 pm. 4. I f i n i s h work between 4:30 and 6:00 pm. 5. I f i n i s h work after 6:00 pm. 18.  If either of your child's natural parents are not currently i n the home, please answer the following questions. I f both of his/her natural parents are i n the home, go on to question number nineteen after putting an X i n this box, j — | a) Bow old was your child when one parent l e f t the family? yearsb) If a new parent entered the family, (for example the remarriage of the parent with the child) how old was your child when this happened? years  E) 19.  INFORMATION ABOUT YOU  What was the highest grade l a school which you attained? 1.  20.  21.  senior secondary school  4.  technical training  2.  gT9--'- twelve graduate  S.  some university  3.  cc-ouaity -college  6.  university graduate  What was the highest grade i n school which your husband attained? 1.  soma senior secondary school  4. technical training  2.  grade twelve  5. some university  3.  concr—iity college  graduate  •  • •  6. university graduate  What Is the present occupation of the male parent or guardian?  •  168  Please do not mark i n this column. 22.  •  What i s your current occupation?  LEISURE TIME ACTIVITIES OF YOUR CHILD 23.  About how much television viewing does your child do each week? 1. no television viewing whatsoever  •  2. five c r fewer hours per week 3. six to ten hours per week 4. eleven to f i f t e e n hours per week 5. more than fifteen hours per week Please explain any restrictions which you place on your child's television viewing.  24.  When your child has no playmates.(such as brothers, s i s t e r s , or friends) and has to occupy himself, indicate the frequency with which he/she chooses to do each of the a c t i v i t i e s below by placing an X i n one of the boxes beside each activity.  A) looks at books or magazines B) watches television C) participates i n active, outdoor games D) makes things with his/her hands E) plays quiet, indoor games 25.  How often does your child play alone? 1. regularly 2. sometimes 3. rarely  ••••  ••no •••• ••••  • • • • •  •  169  26.  From which of Che sources l i s t e d below would you say your child gets most of her/his information about current events such as elections, world happenings, and Canadian affairs?  Please do not mark i n this column.  1. reading about them i n newspapers and magazines 2. family discussions 3. listening to radio newscasts 4. seeing and listening to television newscasts 5. discussions at school  YOUR OPINIONS 27.  Indicate the amount of interest your child shows i n school. 1. extremely interested 2. adequately interested 3. sometimes he/she likes i t ;  sometimes he/she doesn't  4. not a t . a l l Interested 28.  a)  b)  29.  How s a t i s f i e d are you with Che way reading i s being taught in the schools? 1. very satisfied  3. dissatisfied  2. satisfied  4. very dissatisfied  How s a t i s f i e d are you with the way writing Is being taught. In the schools? (how to write sentences and paragraphs) 1. very satisfied  3. dissatisfied  2. s a t i s f i e d  4. very dissatisfied  • •  T e l l how much you agree or disagree with each statement below by placing an X i n one of the boxes beside each statement.nl' vA «/ The Ideal parent should: A) check his child's homework regularly B) volunteer to help with school a c t i v i t i e s  •••• •••••  • •  170  29.  Continue to t e l l how much you agree or disagree with each, statement below by placing an X i n one of the boxes beside each statement. The ideal parent should: C) help his/her child learn to read and write D) not go to the school unless asked to E) be aware of new teaching methods  30.  ^ * * >$< •••••  •••••  Please do not mark i n this column.  • • •  How much do you agree or disagree with each of the statements below? Continue to show your opinion by placing an X beside each statement i n one of the boxes. Nowadays, children such as my child should: A) be read to regularly when they are small B) help pay for the b i l l s at home C) receive parental help on schoolwork when needed D) help to do the family grocery shopping E) be able t c make most of their own choices about books to read and programs to watch F) clean up their rooms without being reminded G) help at home by doing regular chores H) not always be asking their parents hov to do their homework  THANK YOU FOR TOUR HELP.  *><5j  • ••••  •  ••••• ••••• ••••• .••••• •••••  • • • •  •••CD •••••  • •  171  APPENDIX Covering  B  L e t t e r to  Parents  1983  May Dear M o t h e r s , Thank y o u I am  f o r t a k i n g t i m e t o answer t h i s  a graduate  student  a t the  U n i v e r s i t y of  C o l u m b i a who  r e s i d e s p e r m a n e n t l y and  and  t o use  I intend  this questionnaire t a k i n g every  the  information  i n my  precaution  child  identified  course,  required  gathered  through  thesis.  t o make y o u r a n s w e r s t o  anonymous so  be  British  w o r k s i n Kamloops  Master's degree  questionnaire will  questionnaire.  t h a t n e i t h e r you  by  name.  t o answer t h e  You  are  nor not,  questionnaire  i n i t but  y o u r h e l p w o u l d be  most  appreciated.  I f you  not  the  questionnaire,  please  procedures described The  purpose  of t h i s  in a student's writes.  An  return  study  i s t o examine how i n f l u e n c e the  Such  better  To  ensure t h a t your q u e s t i o n n a i r e please  of of  the  some f a c t o r s  way  information  to  would y o u  your  i t , unanswered, u s i n g  he/she  o f s u c h a f a c t o r w o u l d be  o f b o o k s he/she r e a d s . improve  this  below.  environment  example  w i s h t o answer  am  o r any  the q u e s t i o n s  do  I  the w r i t i n g s k i l l s  insert  i t i n the  of  will  may  the  number  enable  students. be  unmarked  anonymous, smaller  us  172  e n v e l o p e a f t e r y o u have c o m p l e t e d name on the l a r g e r e n v e l o p e and questionnaire one.  The  list the  i n i t s smaller  school  larger envelopes.  Then w r i t e  i n s e r t the  envelope  secretary w i l l  as t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e s  it?  be  given  and the  i n t h e i r unmarked s m a l l e r  I will  to contact  not  returned  but w i l l  larger  c h e c k t h e names o f f a  questionnaires attempt  completed  i n t o the  are returned  I will  your  throw  away  completed  envelopes  only.  t h o s e whose q u e s t i o n n a i r e s  n o t know w h i c h  questionnaire  are  you  completed. Thank you it  f o r completing  assumes y o u r  Please  the q u e s t i o n n a i r e .  c o n s e n t t o use t h e  take as  l o n g as y o u  questionnaire.  P e o p l e who  study  found  like  data.  t o complete  completed  i t t o o k them t w e n t y  Completing  the  i t d u r i n g an  to t h i r t y  earlier  minutes.  Sincerely,  P.S.  My  phone number i s  happy t o answer any q u e s t i o n s questionnaire.  Please  , and you might  I would  be  have a b o u t  turn over f o r d i r e c t i o n s .  most the  173  APPENDIX C Interviewee June  Letters 1983  Dear Mothers, Within the l a s t few weeks a q u e s t i o n n a i r e was  brought  home by your son/daughter i n grade s i x / s e v e n and you were requested to respond school.  to i t and r e t u r n i t to your  The q u e s t i o n n a i r e was  p a r t of a study  child's  being  conducted  by a U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia student  who  i n Kamloops and who  lives  i s completing a  Master's  degree t h e s i s . As an a d d i t i o n a l p a r t of t h a t same study ten who  r e c e i v e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e s are being asked  people  to p r o v i d e  f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n about t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s home environment by a g r e e i n g to a s h o r t i n t e r v i e w on the subject.  You  are one  of those with whom I would  like  to meet i n order to t a l k over some a d d i t i o n a l q u e s t i o n s about your c h i l d ' s experiences over the years as they have r e l a t e d t o h i s development of w r i t i n g s k i l l s .  All  of the q u e s t i o n s w i l l be d i f f e r e n t ones t h a t , of course, were not on the q u e s t i o n n a i r e which you have a l r e a d y seen and the t o t a l time we would need f o r such a d i s c u s s i o n would be approximately  twenty  minutes.  I w i l l be t e l e p h o n i n g you w i t h i n the next week t o arrange a time that we  could meet, undisturbed, t o have  174  such a d i s c u s s i o n .  I f you would c a r e f u l l y  consider  t h i s request "between now and then and l e t me know when I c a l l what times would be most a p p r o p r i a t e f o r you I would g r e a t l y a p p r e c i a t e i t . I can come to your home whenever i t i s convenient  f o r you.  Thank you v e r y much f o r your h e l p . Sincerely,  P.S.  Please  don't h e s i t a t e t o c a l l me a t  you have any q u e s t i o n s .  if  175  APPENDIX Interview a) P l e a s e  tell  how  D  Agenda  often, i f at a l l ,  w r i t t e n work t h a t i s t o be hands i t i n a t s c h o o l . b) Does c ) How  talk many t i m e s  you  a draft  d) Does  How  and  on you  d) How  grade  say  has  you  sentence  to check  sense  read  o f an  spelling, assignment?  happen?  o f h e l p can y o u  remember  helping  giving  a t home  d e s c r i b e the  did  before  he/she  one? show i n t e r e s t  you  often?  ideas f o r w r i t i n g ?  i n l e a r n i n g to read  did  c) Could  about  happen  he/she  w r i t i n g assignments?  specifically  b) How  ask  remember e v e r  attended  i n before  you  assignment?  o f t e n does t h i s  e) What o t h e r k i n d s  a) Do  t o you  ever  punctuation,  handed  Does t h i s  would you  o f an  shows  feel  i n l e a r n i n g to  read?  k i n d o f h e l p w h i c h you  gave?  about the  h e l p he/she  was  receiving? e) what was  your a t t i t u d e  toward g i v i n g t h i s  type  help? f ) Why  d i d you  learn  decide  to read  to help  a t home?  (or not  to help)  of  176  3.  a)Approximately school  time  homework b)About  i s spent  devoted  exclusively to  how o f t e n w o u l d y o u s a y with  shares  one o f h i s p a r e n t s  f a m i l y member i n v o l v e d ) s u c h  movie t o g e t h e r ?  4.  's o u t o f  assignments?  an a c t i v i t y other  how much o f  daily,  ( w i t h no as g o i n g  two o r t h r e e t i m e s  week, once w e e k l y , t w i c e  o r three times  monthly,  monthly  less  a)Did  o f t e n than  a  a month,  know how t o r e a d when she/he  grade  to a  began  one?  b) How much d i d h e / s h e know?  Try to r e c a l l  when  he/she began t o r e a d . c ) what s o r t  of things d i d  '  do?  d) D i d s h e / h e  do a l o t o f s c r i b b l i n g ?  e) D i d  she/he  draw p e o p l e  f ) Did  she/he  copy l e t t e r s o f the a l p h a b e t ?  g) D i d  she/he  ask questions  h) O t h e r  and o b j e c t s ?  about  spelling?  kinds of behavior?  i ) What s o r t  of questions d i d  ask about  reading? j ) C a n y o u g i v e a n example? 5.  a)Do y o u remember g o i n g t o t h e s c h o o l o v e r t h e years  a t a l l and t a l k i n g a b o u t t e a c h i n g w i t h •s  teacher?  177  5.  b)When was c ) How  this?  o f t e n d i d i t happen?  d) What d i d t h e t e a c h e r  say?  e) What d i d y o u s a y ? f ) What s p a r k e d  your  interest?  g) I f y o u have n e v e r  gone t o s e e a t e a c h e r  i n such  a way, why have y o u c h o s e n n o t t o ? h) Have y o u a l w a y s b e e n i n t e r e s t e d  i n r e a d i n g and  writing? i ) Why  d i d y o u go t o s e e t h e t e a c h e r  j)Were y o u s a t i s f i e d 6.  a)If  with  t h e outcome o f y o u r  these  what s t e p s w o u l d y o u t a k e  in helping t h e i r  children?  t o use  Here a r e some  options  s u p e r v i s e h i s / h e r homework  h e l p him/her w i t h materials,  t h e homework, p r o v i d e  c h e c k t h e homework, h i r e  a)Does  watch any c e r t a i n  programs  time,  extra  a tutor,  other  television  regularly?  y o u name one o r two o f them?  c ) Do y o u e v e r has  f o r parents  m i g h t c h o o s e t o a n s w e r p a r t one o f t h i s  question with:  b) Can  t o overcome  difficulties?  b)What r e s o u r c e s a r e a v a i l a b l e  7.  visit?  were t o have d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h h i s  schoolwork,  you  ( i f you d i d go)?  watched?  discuss with  what  she/he  178  7.  d ) I f n o t , why  not?  e) I f y o u do d i s c u s s t e l e v i s i o n  p r o g r a m s w h i c h have  been w a t c h e d , what t o p i c s do y o u u s u a l l y d i s c u s s ? f) ie.  does  _ask q u e s t i o n s  a b o u t what h e / s h e  saw? g) Do y o u a s k q u e s t i o n s  t o s e e how  has  responded,etc.? h) Do y o u e v e r  discuss things  reads  with  him/her? i ) What do y o u u s u a l l y d i s c u s s ? 8.  In today's ie.  9.  society,  ( s e e above  what i s t h e p u r p o s e  to help children  prepare  of  f o r what l i e s  a)How w o u l d y o u d e s c r i b e  education? ahead.  i n a few w o r d s ?  (see  i f any o f t h e f o l l o w i n g d e s c r i p t o r s come up)  self  sufficient,  fastidious, b)If such  persevering,  self-controlled,  individualistic were a s k e d  as u n l o a d i n g  t o do some r e p e t i t i v e  a pick-up  musical  instrument,  how m i g h t  task  l o a d o f wood, o r  t a k i n g out the garbage, or p r a c t i c e  10.  questions)  or c l e a n i n g typically  playing a  up h i s room, react?  a)What c a n t h e s c h o o l s do t o i n f o r m y o u b e t t e r a b o u t what  i s going  on i n  b) What e l s e w o u l d y o u l i k e happening a t  's s c h o o l ?  t o know a b o u t what i s  's s c h o o l ?  c ) What c a n t h e s c h o o l do b e t t e r t h a n  i t i s doing  now?  179  APPENDIX E The  Home and Work W r i t i n g  Reported types of w r i t i n g Effective Writers Messages grocery things  H a b i t s of Mothers  done a t home by M o t h e r s o f More  lists t o do  messages  lists  (three  Working with  respondents)  figures  bookeeping record  keeping  Educationally marking taking  related  exams minutes  at  meetings  completing course o  lesson  assignments  preparation  preparing  public  making notes Bible  Creative  (three  talks  respondents)  (two  from r e f e r e n c e  study lesson  writing  writing  respondents) material  completion  (two  respondents)  writing poems  (eight  respondents)  w r i t i n g n e w s p a p e r and m a g a z i n e a r t i c l e s daily  journal  diary  (seven  short  stories  writing respondents) (four  respondents)  (two  respondents)  180  essays  for English  essays  (three  original Other  100  respondents)  songs  t y p e s o f w r i t i n g done a t home  schedules secretary  f o r community  group - type  minutes  calligraphy writing newsletters professional reports resumes i n f o r m a t i o n wanted crossword computer  puzzles programs  answering  surveys  Reported types of w r i t i n g Effective Writers Orders  and  forms  instructions contracts Formal  writing  memos briefs Reports programs assessments life/death  claims  daybook p l a n n i n g  done a t work by M o t h e r s o f  More  181  Other types of w r i t i n g done at work notes to parents newsletters ads procedure manuals Reported types of w r i t i n g done a t home by Mothers of Less E f f e c t i v e W r i t e r s Recipe  Copying  reported  by one  respondent  Messages instructions for children's  duties  some church work Working with  figures  b i l l i n g s and  statements  cheque w r i t i n g bookkeeping Educationally  related  writing  notebook w r i t i n g prayerbook  writing  notes on t a l k s at church completing course preparing  public  studying Creative  writing  w r i t i n g poems  assignments talks  w r i t i n g newspaper and daily  journal  magazine  articles  writing  books o f remembrance diary cookbook hobby  books  short  stories  Other  t y p e s o f w r i t i n g done a t home  bookwork cards work  reports  help c h i l d  with  assignments  Reported types of w r i t i n g Less E f f e c t i v e W r i t e r s O r d e r s and  done a t work by  forms  ordering accounts  receivable  schedules  (three  respondents)  banking information log  books  accounting purchase staff  invoices  orders  reviews  Reports r e p o r t i n g on  residents  nursing charting  (two  respondents)  Mothers  schoolwork directives Other  types of w r i t i n g  numbers e t c . data,  information  done a t work  184  APPENDIX Parents' Other Attempts Preschool Children  F  to Teach P r i n t i n g  A c t i v i t i e s R e p o r t e d by t h e P a r e n t s Group o f L e s s E f f e c t i v e W r i t e r s 1)  knew a l p h a b e t  2)  weekly l i b r a r y  3)  my  4)  I encouraged  picture  5)  I taught  to p r i n t  child  i n any  their  of Students  o r d e r a t 2*  i n the  years  trips  w a t c h e d Sesame S t r e e t  how  to  (two  respondents)  books name, a l p h a b e t ,  address,  phone number 6)  had  fun with F i s h e r - P r i c e  and  w r i t t e n words  7)  child  8)  taught  was  i n a day-care  a l p h a b e t and  s c h o o l desk  (pictures  center  letter  sounds f i r s t ,  then  words .9)  10)  painting,  playdough  for pre-printing;  printed  words t h e n  sounded them  circled  words i n m a g a z i n e s as  playschool  out.  child  l e a r n e d them  a s a game 11)  very l i t t l e  12)  printed  - made s u r e he  words and  h e r what t h e y 13)  taught  child  said  her to s p e l l  could spell  c o p i e d them.  o r she  dictated  some words  h i s name We  told  i t first  185  A c t i v i t i e s R e p o r t e d by t h e P a r e n t s o f S t u d e n t s Group o f More E f f e c t i v e W r i t e r s 1)  older siblings  2)  as asked, she  3)  stimulated  I correctly  i n the  interest  demonstrated  letters  and  c o p i e d them  he was  v e r y keen and  I showed him w h a t e v e r  he  asked k)  showed c h i l d  5)  gave h e r p e n c i l s  6)  read l o t s  7)  child  8)  showed h e r words i n h e r book as  9)  purchased  uses  t h e a l p h a b e t and and  paper  name i n f u n  (two  respondents)  to her dictionary  books on how  a lot  to begin  examples  186  APPENDIX G The  Occupations  o f Mothers and  O c c u p a t i o n s R e p o r t e d by P a r e n t s of Less E f f e c t i v e W r i t e r s Unskilled  Fathers  of Students  i n t h e Group  occupations  janitor  construction laborer  arena  warehouseman  log  attendant  loader  letter  domestic help  carrier  millworker  salesman Semi-skilled truck  occupations  driver  food  cashier service  floor representative  s e r v i c e worker layer  clerk  pipefitter  insurance  logging  fireman  contractor  welder  secretary Skilled  machine post  representative  operator  supervisor  occupations registered  nurse  mechanic  policeman  blaster  millwright  rail  p a r t s manager  general  government  agent  assistant  food  manager  electrician  floor  carpenter  traffic  control  operator  contractor s e r v i c e manager  s y s t e m s manager  187  B u s i n e s s and M a n a g e r i a l store  owner  Occupations  assistant  s t o r e manager  engineer  director  owns own  of personnel Professional  geologist  bank manager  business  Occupations teacher  pharmac i s t Other  responses  handicapped  unemployed  O c c u p a t i o n s R e p o r t e d by P a r e n t s o f S t u d e n t s o f More E f f e c t i v e W r i t e r s Unskilled switchboard  operator  occupations millworker  warehouseman  n i g h t manager  janitor  building Semi-skilled  i n t h e Group  maintenance  occupations  teacher-aide  waitress  clerk  r a i l w a y brakeman  accounts practical train  clerk nurse  conductor  telephone  operator  electronic truck  technician  driver  engraver baker  logger  h e a l t h care worker  trainman  stenographer  lumber g r a d e r  meat  cutter  188  cook  secretary  i n s u r a n c e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e heavy e q u i p m e n t bookkeeper  library Skilled  aide  occupations  carpenter  policeman  train  engineer  registered  legal  surveyor  dental  nurse  assistant  warehouse manager  logger,  musician  physiotherapist  prison chaplain  heavy  electrician  cabinet  welder  production  health care lab  operator  nurse  skidder  driver  duty machine  operator  maker superintendent  electrical contractor  technician Business  and  Managerial  engineer  owns d r i l l i n g  speech  businessman  therapist  business  company manager  operations supervisor  branch  small business  manager  supermarket  owner  manager Professional  Occupations  school p r i n c i p a l  teacher  psychologist  social  chemist  head o f c o l l e g e  work  (private  practic  department  189  Other Responses on w e l f a r e  on  compensation  unemployed  mother - lady i n w a i t i n g  housewife - otherwise known as domestic engineer  190  APPENDIX H 30  Table  R e s t r i c t i o n s on the t e l e v i s i o n v i e w i n g o f c h i l d r e n Description of R e s t r i c t i o n  Frequency Less More Effective Effective  time r e s t r i c t i o n s not  more than two hours Saturdays  0  1  not  a f t e r 9 pm  4  9  not  a f t e r 9*30 pm  1  1  not  a f t e r 10 pm  0  2  not  u n t i l homework i s completed  7  10  1  1  1  0  no l o n g e r than one hour a t a time  0  2  not  d u r i n g the daytime  1  0  not  d u r i n g daytime  2  0  e a r l y evening v i e w i n g only  0  1  maximum two hours per day  1  1  not  1  1  8am t o 10 am only  1  0  only on Saturday morning  1.  0  only a f t e r chores completed  2  2  maximum one hour per s c h o o l day  2  0  little  0  1  l i m i t e d when c h i l d not  i s busy  too l o n g a t a time  i f weather i s  nice  a f t e r d i n n e r on weeknights  allowed d u r i n g the week  191  type o f show r e s t r i c t i o n s no s a d i s t shows  0  ,  1  no murder or h i g h l y r a t e d crime shows  1  1  1  1  no o c c u l t shows  1  0  no v i o l e n t shows  3  14  no immoral shows no pornography, lewd, shows  1  0  2  2  1  10  2  0  no shows d e p i c t i n g sexual behavior  1  0  l i m i t e d v i e w i n g o f war shov/s  1  0  crude speech  0  3  no  s a t a n i c movies  0  1  no  h o r r o r shows  0  no  shows i n bad t a s t e  0  1  no garbage  0  1  no sitcoms  0  1  r a r e l y see cartoons  0  1  no  0  1  no  scary shows  no a d u l t , s e x - r e l a t e d shows  suggestive or R r a t e d  encouraged watching o f e d u c a t i o n a l shows  no  shows w i t h much swearing or  soaps  >  8  192  parental  guidance  p r e v i e w e d by guide  i n viewing  parents  o n l y p r o g r a m s we  in television  approve of  programs a r e pleasurable certain  selected  programs n o t  p r e - s c r e e n i n g by  allowed  as a f a m i l y  family viewing  only  allowed  parents  are  d i s c u s s what i s n o t  2  8  0  1  1  1  2  3  1  0  1  1  1  0  1  1  1  0  0  1  0  1  0  1  0  2  1  0  0  1  0  1  for  violence other a c t i v i t i e s  1  are  watched i n a p p r o p r i a t e programs not  0  encouraged understood  any  good q u a l i t y show a l l o w e d (not n e c e s s a r i l y e d u c a t i o n a l ) c h i l d r e n are i n s t r u c t e d to not b e l i e v e a l l t h e y see and h e a r d i s c o u r a g e w a t c h i n g o f s i l l y shows s u c h as Dukes no  rules  but  attitude  watching other we he  is television  i s a no-no  restrictions  have p o o r r e c e p t i o n so we seldom watch does o t h e r t h i n g s when he them t o do  child  has  only interested in " L i t t l e House'and " D i f f e r e n t S t r o k e s *  t e l e v i s i o n watching in past year  has  increased  we have no  television  t e l e v i s i o n doesn't i n t e r e s t her so no r e s t r i c t i o n s c h i l d u s u a l l y chooses news programs  194  APPENDIX I  U n s o l i c i t e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e comments o f parents Comments by parents of more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s Concerning  child's writing i n his leisure  time  w r i t e s about once a month or less, o f t e n d u r i n g the summer ( l e s s o f t e n i n winter) Concerning  child's i n i t i a l  showed f i r s t  interest  interest i n learning to print  i n l e a r n i n g t o p r i n t before one  year of age. Concerning c h i l d ' s best type o f w r i t i n g i f i t wasn't l e t t e r s , s t o r i e s , poems, notes, or d i a r i e s novel reports  reports  s c h o o l assignments  c l a s s work  guide work  cartoon  card verses  songs  descriptive paragraphs  paragraphs  dialogues  Concerning the amount o f r e a d i n g aloud done by parents s i n c e t h e i r c h i l d r e n learned t o read f o r themselves a)  read a l o u d u n t i l about grade three but not anymore  b)  r a r e l y read aloud - frequency  has decreased  as c h i l d  has g o t t e n o l d e r . Concerning  chalkboards  a)  child  b)  used l o t s o f paper  i n the home  l o s t i n t e r e s t and board was g i v e n away  Concerning whether or not both n a t u r a l parents o f c h i l d are i n the home c h i l d r e n a r e adopted  195  Concerning  the e d u c a t i o n a l l e v e l a t t a i n e d by f a t h e r s  a)  grade 13  b)  one course s h o r t o f degree  graduate  Concerning a c t i v i t i e s c h i l d p a r t i c i p a t e s a)  reads  b)  p l a y s w i t h computer  i n when alone  Concerning how o f t e n c h i l d p l a y s alone an only c h i l d Concerning the s a t i s f a c t i o n o f parents w i t h r e a d i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the schools  1  a)  standards are not high enough  b)  depends on t e a c h e r  c)  can't answer, my c h i l d r e n read before s t a r t i n g s c h o o l  d)  v a r i e s from s a t i s f i e d t o d i s s a t i s f i e d  Concerning the s a t i s f a c t i o n o f parents w i t h w r i t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the s c h o o l s a)  s p e l l i n g l e s s than  b)  I'm d i s s a t i s f i e d  satisfactory  - unsure i f problem i s the t e a c h i n g  or the l e a r n i n g c)  depends on the teacher's  initiative  Concerning whether or not the i d e a l parent should check h i s c h i l d ' s homework r e g u l a r l y a)  as an e x p r e s s i o n o f i n t e r e s t only  b)  c h i l d has to be r e s p o n s i b l e  196  C o n c e r n i n g whether o r n o t t h e i d e a l p a r e n t volunteer to help with school a c t i v i t i e s a)  where?  b)  a s much a s i s r e a s o n a b l y  c)  i f time  possible  permits  C o n c e r n i n g whether o r n o t t h e i d e a l p a r e n t h i s c h i l d l e a r n t o r e a d and w r i t e a)  depends  b)  responsibility  c)  only  should  help  on t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s i s on t h e t e a c h e r  i f the parent  i s c o m p e t e n t t o do so  C o n c e r n i n g whether o r n o t t h e i d e a l p a r e n t aware o f new t e a c h i n g methods parents  should  s h o u l d be i n f o r m e d  s h o u l d be  o f c u r r i c u l u m and o f any  changes C o n c e r n i n g whether o r n o t c h i l d r e n t h e b i l l s a t home a)  which  b)  depends upon c h i l d ' s  c)  a t what  d)  should  should  h e l p pay f o r  bills? income  - i f any  age? be aware  o f the b i l l s  C o n c e r n i n g whether o r n o t c h i l d r e n s h o u l d r e c e i v e p a r e n t a l h e l p on s c h o o l w o r k when n e e d e d if  the parent  c a n do i t  C o n c e r n i n g w h e t h e r o r n o t c h i l d r e n s h o u l d be a b l e t o make most o f t h e i r own c h o i c e s a b o u t books t o r e a d and programs t o watch a)  depends  on t h e c h i l d  b)  a t what  age?  197  Concerning whether or not c h i l d r e n should not always be a s k i n g t h e i r parents how t o do t h e i r homework a)  only when not understood  b)  not as a way o f s h i r k i n g work  c)  depends on how capable the student i s Comments by parents o f l e s s e f f e c t i v e  writers  Concerning c h i l d ' s best type o f w r i t i n g i f i t wasn't l e t t e r s , s t o r i e s , poems, n o t e s . or d i a r i e s essays short descriptive  writing  copying words from hockey cards making up games such as t r e a s u r e hunt maps Concerning amount o f homework c h i l d does it  depends on the teacher - t h i s y e a r s there have been  no homework  assignments  Concerning the types o f h e l p with w r i t i n g which parents give w i l l i n g t o h e l p i n a l l areas but i t i s seldom r e q u i r e d . Concerning the frequency w i t h which c h i l d r e n b r i n g home marked assignments f o r parents t o see t e a c h e r doesn't hand them back, but seldom Concerning the response o f parents when they see w r i t t e n assignments which have been marked by a t e a c h e r a)  both parents always read through the paper  b)  the t e a c h e r i s contacted f o r a d i s c u s s i o n only i f there are  problems  198  C o n c e r n i n g t h e amount o f r e a d i n g a l o u d done by p a r e n t s since t h e i r c h i l d r e n learned t o read f o r themselves a)  read aloud read  b)  f o r a b o u t two y e a r s a f t e r  the c h i l d  could  f o r him o r h e r s e l f  u s u a l l y read  aloud  something i n t e r e s t i n g  from the  newspaper c)  rarely  Concerning  read aloud  - w h i c h I had t h e t i m e  chalkboards  i n t h e home  we have a s m a l l one on t h e w a l l Concerning  t h e number o f b o o k s f o r c h i l d r e n  a)  we have a b o u t 200 o r s o  b)  child time in  b r i n g s home books f r o m t h e l i b r a r y and reads  i n t h e home  a l l the  them, t h e r e a r e b e t w e e n 21 a n d 50  o u r home.  C o n c e r n i n g whether o r n o t both n a t u r a l p a r e n t s a r e i n t h e home new p a r e n t  i s gone f i v e  Concerning  the educational l e v e l  a)  ex-husband  b)  teachers' college  c)  Bible  Concerning  days p e r week a t t a i n e d by f a t h e r s  illiterate  school activities  a)  loves Archie  b)  biking  child  standards  participates  i n when a l o n e  comics  Concerning the s a t i s f a c t i o n i n s t r u c t i o n i n the schools a)  of child  not high  o f parents  enough  with w r i t i n g  199  b)  c o n s t r u c t i o n a n d more e m p h a s i s on E n g l i s h l a n g u a g e needed.  C o n c e r n i n g whether o r n o t t h e i d e a l p a r e n t h i s c h i l d ' s homework r e g u l a r l y  should  home a n d s c h o o l s h o u l d work t o g e t h e r a n d s t r i v e quality  fora  education  C o n c e r n i n g whether o r n o t c h i l d r e n t h e b i l l s a t home a)  check  child  should  learn  financial  s h o u l d h e l p pay f o r  discipline  from  parent's  example t o p a y b i l l s b)  should understand  n o t p h y s i c a l l y pay  C o n c e r n i n g w h e t h e r o r n o t c h i l d r e n s h o u l d be a b l e t o make most o f t h e i r own c h o i c e s a b o u t b o o k s t o r e a d and programs t o watch a)  with  some i n p u t from  b)  with r e s e r v a t i o n s  c)  depends  d)  must be a l l o w e d  parents  freedom a f t e r b e i n g taught  your  moral  judgements f o r 13 y e a r s e)  with  guidance  C o n c e r n i n g w h e t h e r o r n o t c h i l d r e n s h o u l d n o t a l w a y s be a s k i n g t h e i r p a r e n t s how t o do t h e i r homework a)  depends  b)  they not  should  t h i n k , t h i n k use t h e grey  understood Other  a)  It is difficult  cells  -i f  seek our h e l p unsolicited  comments  t o answer t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e because  200  we  are  foster parents.  The  child  returned to n a t u r a l parents f r o m 6 £ t o 13 y e a r s I feel  having  o f age  h i s or her  and  then  (the  own  came when f o u r , back t o  us  present)  room/desk i s v e r y  important T h i s q u e s t i o n n a i r e b r i n g s to the concern entire  about today's education  students variety ONE  as  and  only reason  writing is  doing  me  this question  very  TO  my  learned  I f e e l you  very  Process  child  why's o f a  are m i s s i n g  year  The  I f you  I w o u l d have  Process  had  this  of W r i t i n g  class asked  has he  has  schooling!  d i s c r i m i n a t o r y by out.  way  answered  more i n e i g h t months t h a n  are being  TO  about the  i s because h i s  of W r i t i n g .  last  -  the  HIM/HERSELF.  satisfied  child  in his entire  mothers t o f i l l  they  LEARN, FOR  t o my  dissatisfied.  taught ever  the  "informing"  how-to's and  Sadly,  I am  i s taught  to  The  valuable responsibility  TEACH A STUDENT HOW The  i s geared  facts,  of subjects.  most v i t a l  most s e r i o u s  e d u c a t i o n a l system.  system  t o the  f o r e my  Why  not  asking  either  parent?  201  APPENDIX J G u i d e l i n e s to Teachers  f o r S e l e c t i n g More E f f e c t i v e  W r i t e r s and Less E f f e c t i v e W r i t e r s Teachers  of Grade 6 and 7  Students,  -Think of a l l students i n your s c h o o l (and a t a p a r t i c u l a r grade l e v e l ) as f a l l i n g i n t o three groups of a b i l i t y i n w r i t t e n compositions A) top t h i r d B) middle t h i r d and C) bottom t h i r d -Choose students on the b a s i s of o v e r a l l a b i l i t y i n w r i t t e n composition. -Don't only c o n s i d e r the mechanical aspects of w r i t i n g but a l s o c o n s i d e r content, u n i t y , emphasis, method of presentation, etc. -Endeavour to c o n s i d e r the student's performance i n a l l s u b j e c t areas which r e q u i r e w r i t t e n e x p r e s s i o n . -For purposes of t h i s study, s e l e c t v i r t u a l l y no students who f a l l i n t o the middle t h i r d of the students at t h e i r grade l e v e l . -Please do not s e l e c t any students who have severe, r a r e , and s p e c i a l problems with w r i t t e n e x p r e s s i o n . - A d d i t i o n a l l y , o u t s t a n d i n g l y good w r i t e r s who are f a r s u p e r i o r t o a l l other students a t t h e i r grade l e v e l should not be s e l e c t e d . -Group sizes Choose a group of ten more e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s and a group of t e n l e s s e f f e c t i v e w r i t e r s a t each of the s p e c i f i e d grade l e v e l s u s i n g the c r i t e r i a a l r e a d y d e s c r i b e d . -Students shouldn't be s e l e c t e d on the b a s i s of sex. For example boys should not be chosen over g i r l s i n order t o "even up" the number of students of each sex i n a group. - I t would g r e a t l y a s s i s t me i n p r e p a r i n g q u e s t i o n n a i r e s i f you could i n d i c a t e on the student s e l e c t i o n sheet which s t u d e n t s , i f any, come from f a m i l i e s with only one parent p r e s e n t l y i n the home. Thank  You.  

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