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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Reading achievement in grade five and its relationship to parental occupation, verbal intelligence, and certain environmental factors Buckley, Geoffrey John

Abstract

An investigation was made of the relationship between reading achievement and the following variables: (1) Certain environmental factors; (2) Parental occupation; and (3) Verbal intelligence; by considering the prediction of reading achievement from these variables. The city of Vancouver, British Columbia, was divided into three social class areas--one high, one middle, and one low area--and within each of these areas, sixty Grade 5 children were chosen by random selection, The following tests were administered to the sample: (1) The Henmon-Nelson Test of Mental Ability; and (2) The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, Tests V and R. At an interview with each child in the sample, a schedule which attempted to measure each child's exposure to the following factors, was completed: (1) Certain factors involved in TV viewing and radio listening by the child; (2) Availability of reading materials in his home; (3) Amount of certain types of reading done in the child's home; (4) Variety and extent of visits and trips; and (5) Participation in certain activities (mainly sports, hobbies, and social activities). The occupation of the chief breadwinner in each child's family was measured by means of the Blishen Occupational Scale. Simple correlations were computed among all of the variables. These correlations were computed for each of the social class areas separately, for the boys in the sample, for the girls in the sample, and for the total sample. A multiple correlation with reading achievement of the five sub-scores of the interview schedule, the child's verbal intelligence, and parental occupation was computed for each of the categories of subjects. Only the variables which significantly increased the multiple correlation coefficient, at the .05 level of significance, were retained as factors in its computation, The main findings of this study were the following: From Comparisons of Means 1. All mean scores, except TV-Radio and Amount of Reading, are highest in the upper, moderate in the middle, and lowest in the lower class areas. The environmental factors, except TV-Radio, are positively related to the material wealth of the child's family. 2. Significant sex differences in means are few at the .05 level, non-existent at the .01 level; however, in this sample, a consistent trend of non-significant differences favours the boys over .the girls in all areas, and for all variables measured except Verbal Intelligence, TV-Radio, and Parental Occupation. The last finding supports recent empirical refutation of the belief in girl's superiority to boys in the language arts. From Simple and Multiple Correlations 3. For the boys, and the girls of the whole sample, considered together or separately, Reading Achievement is strongly related to Verbal Intelligence, and is related to a somewhat lesser extent to Parental Occupation and Visits. The f i r s t two of these findings confirm previous research; the third finding is new. 4. Only Verbal Intelligence and Visits can contribute significantly , at the .05 level, to the multivariate prediction of Reading Achievement from the variables considered. This finding total sample. A multiple correlation with reading achievement of the five sub-scores of the interview schedule, the child's verbal intelligence, and parental occupation was computed for each of the categories of subjects. Only the variables which significantly increased the multiple correlation coefficient, at the .05 level of significance, were retained as factors in its computation, The main findings of this study were the following: From Comparisons of Means 1. All mean scores, except TV-Radio and Amount of Reading, are highest in the upper, moderate in the middle, and lowest in the lower class areas. The environmental factors, except TV-Radio, are positively related to the material wealth of the child's family, 2. Significant sex differences in means are few at the .05 level, non-existent at the .01 level; however, in this sample, a consistent trend of non-significant differences favours the boys over the girls in all areas, and for all variables measured except Verbal Intelligence, TV-Radio, and Parental Occupation. The last finding supports recent empirical refutation of the belief in girl's superiority to boys in the language arts. From Simple and Multiple Correlations 3. For the boys, and the girls of the whole sample, considered together or separately, Reading Achievement is strongly related to Verbal Intelligence, and is related to a somewhat lesser extent to Parental Occupation and Visits. The first two of these findings confirm previous research; the third finding is new. 4. Only Verbal Intelligence and Visits can contribute significantly, at the .05 level, to the multivariate prediction of Reading Achievement from the variables considered. This finding applies to the whole sample, the boys and girls of the whole sample separately, to middle class girls, and to lower class boys. 5. Substantial correlations exist among certain of the variables other than Reading Achievement. Notable among these are Visits, Materials, Participation, and Parental Occupation. All of these variables involve expense, or are related to a family's material standard of living. 6. TV-Radio is unrelated to almost all the other variables.

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