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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Shared storybook reading in families from diverse cultural backgrounds Lynch, Jacqueline Suzette

Abstract

This study explored relationships among parents' literacy beliefs, parents' selfreported literacy behaviors, parent-child storybook interactions, and children's language and literacy achievement. Trends in parent-child interactions and children's language and literacy achievement were identified based on the grouping of parents' beliefs. The sample for this study consisted of 35 parents and 38 children from diverse cultural backgrounds and represented low SES to upper middle-class families involved in a larger multiple literacies project. Four instruments were used in the study. The Parents' Perception of Literacy Learning Interview Schedule (PPLLIS) (Anderson, 1995a) was used to determine parents' beliefs about early literacy. Children's achievement was measured by the Test of Early Reading Ability-2 (TERA-2) (Reid, Hresko, & Hammill, 1989), the Kindergarten Language Screening Test-2 (KLST-2) (Gauthier & Madison, 1998), and a letter identification task (Clay, 1979a). Parent-child interactions were videotaped and coded using a modified scaled developed by Shapiro, Anderson, and Anderson (1997). Partial correlations, controlling for children's age in months, and Mests were used to determine relationships in the data and to identify significant differences in scores on the PPLLIS based on selected demographic factors. The description of parent-child interactions and children's achievement was examined based on the grouping of parents' beliefs. Findings from this study suggested that the more holistic were parents' beliefs, the more parents focused on print in storybook interactions, and the higher was children's language and literacy achievement. Parents' with more holistic beliefs were more likely to engage in encouragement activities and less direct teaching of literacy. Types of interactions that were more cognitively demanding (Haden, Reese, & Fivush, 1996) related positively to children's achievement. Parents who were more educated had more holistic beliefs. Trends in the descriptive data supported the statistical analysis. Based on the results of this study, it can be inferred that parent-child interactions in storybook reading are related to young children's literacy achievement in families from diverse cultural backgrounds. It is necessary to understand parents' beliefs about literacy to gain insight as to why parents interact with children in literacy events in particular ways. This study provides a basis for understanding factors related to young children's literacy achievement.

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