• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Acknowledgement
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 Abstract
 Introduction
 Review of literature
 Design and procedures
 Results
 Appendices
 Bibliography
 Biographical sketch














Title: Effects of a program of father-child and mother-child reading on children's reading readiness
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 Material Information
Title: Effects of a program of father-child and mother-child reading on children's reading readiness
Physical Description: x, 147 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Darabi, Taraneh Mavaddat, 1947-
Copyright Date: 1979
 Subjects
Subject: Reading readiness   ( lcsh )
Parent and child   ( lcsh )
Reading (Preschool)   ( lcsh )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 142-146.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
Statement of Responsibility: by Taraneh Mavaddat Darabi.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098635
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000097090
oclc - 06505550
notis - AAL2525

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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Acknowledgement
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
        Page v
    List of Tables
        Page vi
        Page vii
    Abstract
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Review of literature
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
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        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Design and procedures
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
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        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    Results
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
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        Page 56
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    Appendices
        Page 100
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    Bibliography
        Page 142
        Page 143
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        Page 145
        Page 146
    Biographical sketch
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
Full Text












EFFECTS OF A PROGRAM OF FATHER-CIILD
AND MOTHER-CHILD READING
ON CHILDREN'S READING READINESS













By

TARANEH MAVADDAT DARABI














A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF TIE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY










UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

1979































"Bend your minds and wills to the education of the peoples and
kindreds of the earth, that haply. . all mankind may become the
upholders of one order, and the inhabitants of one city. ."

Baha'u'llah
















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The author wishes to express her sincere gratitude to the members of

her committee:

Dr. Linda Lamme who so enthusiastically and willingly supported

and provided technical assistance which made this work pleasurable and

successful;

Drs. Robert Soar and James Algina for their invaluable assistance

in research methodology and constant encouragement;

Dr. Patricia Ashton for her professionalism and clear thoughts and

ideas regarding this work;

Dr. Athol Packer for his encouragement and interest in parent

education;

Dr. Arthur Lewis who was always there for help and reference.

Special thanks go to Mrs. Ann Farrell and Ms, Deanna McCallum for

t ii tireless efforts.in coding the videotapes and Susan Angenendt for

testing the children.

The author also wishes to express her deepest appreciation to her

parents, Mr. and Mrs. Mavaddat, whose constant love, concern, encourage-

ment and support for her education for the past 32 years is beyond words,

I am indebted to my best friend and husband, Farhang, for his

constant love and understanding and who shared with me the rather trying

experience of being a graduate student.

Many others have provided assistance. Among them are the Baha'is

of Gainesville who provided much needed opportunity for spiritual growth.

















TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. . . . . . . . . . . . iii

LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . . . . . vi

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . ... . . . . .viii

CHAPTER

I INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . .. . . . 1

Statement of the Problem . . . . . . . . 2
Definition of Terms . . . . . . . . . 7
Hypotheses . . . . . . . . .. . . . 8
Limitations . . . . . . . . .. . . . 9

II REVIEW OF LITERATURE . . . . . . . . . 11

Effects of Home Environment and
Reading Aloud on Children's
Reading Readiness . . . . . . . . . 11
Mother's Teaching/Interactive Style and
Child's Performance ................. 15
Reading Aloud and Children's Performance . . .. .18
.other-Child/Father-Child Interactive
Differences . . . . . . . . ... . . 21
Parent Education Studies Pertinent to
Reading Readiness . . . . . . . . ... 28

III DESIGN AND PROCEDURES . . . . . . . . ... 34

Hypotheese .... . . . . . . . . . 35
Subjects . . . . . . . . .. .. .. . 36
Treatment . . . . . . . . .. .. .. . 36
Data Collection . . . . . . . . . .. 39
Tests and Instruments . ... . . . . . ... . 40
Test Materials . . . . . . . .... . 40
Parent-Child Reading Interaction Observation System .41
Coder Training and Agreement . . . . . ... .44
Data Analysis . . . . . . . ... . . 47










TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)


CHAPTER

IV RESULTS . . . . . . . . ... ... . 50

Children's Data . . . . . . . .... . 50
Treatment Effect . . . . . . . ... 50
Correlates of Children's Pretests . . . ... 53
Parent's Data .. . . . . . . . ... 57
Treatment Effect . . . . . . . ... 57
Parent's Sex . . . . . . . .... . 70
Correlates of Parent-Child Reading Behavior .... 70
Preschoolers' Performance on the BSSI ...... 70
Mothers' Reading Behavior . . . . . ... 82
Fathers' Reading Behavior . . . . . ... 82

V DISCUSSION . . . . . . . . ... .... . 85

Hypothesis 1 . . . . . . . .... . 85
Hypothesis 2 . . . . . . . .... . 86
Influences of the Program Participation
on Father-Child Reading Behavior . . . ... 87
Influences of the Program Participation
on Mother-Child Reading Behavior . . . .. 89
Hypothesis 3 . . . . . . . . . 90
Hypothesis 4 . . . . . . . .... . 92
Hypothesis 5 . . . . . . . .... . 93
Hypotheses 6 and 7 . . . . . . . . 96
Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . 97
Recommendations for Parents, Parent Educators
and Early Childhood Teachers . . . . ... 98
Suggestions for Further Research . . . . ... 99

APPENDICES

A Letter and Questionnaire . . . . . ... 100

B PCRI Observation System and Coding Manual . . .. 103

C Directions . . . 114

D Consent Form . 116

E Workshop Materials . . .. . . . . . 118

F Intercorrelation Matrixes . . . . 134

BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . 142

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . . . . . 147
















LIST OF TABLES


Table Page

1 Parental Teaching and Interactive Behavior
Shown to Relate to Child's Performance . . ... 22

2 Mother-Child and Father-Child Teaching
and Interactive Differences . . . . . ... 29

3 Number of Children in Each Age Category ...... 37

4 Means and Standard Deviations of the Items
for the Three Sections of PCRI Observation System .42

5 Intercoder Reliability for PCRI Observation System .45

6 Reading Readiness Achievement Scores as a
Function of Treatment and Child's Sex ...... 51

7 Children's Pretest Score as a Function of
Parents' Education,Frequency of Story Book
Reading and Child's Sex. . . . . . ., 54

8 Education Level of Mothers and Fathers . . 55

relationtin of Parents' Education and
Reading Frequencies with Child's Pretest Score . , 56

10 Mothers' Reading Behavior as a Function of
Treatment and Child's Sex ...... ..... . 58

11 Child's Reading Behavior While Reading with
the Mother as a Function of Treatment and
Child's Sex . . . . . ... . . . 62

12 Fathers' Reading Behavior as a Function of
Treatment and Child's Sex ............. 63

13 Child's Reading Behavior While Reading with.
the Father as a Function of Treatment and
Child's Sex . . . .. . . . . . 65

14 Summary of Behaviors Changed as a Result of
Mothers' and Fathers' Program Participation ..... 68










LIST OF TABLES (Continued)

15 Summary of Child's Reading Behaviors . . . . .. 69

16 Comparison of Mothers' and Fathers'Reading
Behavior Before Treatment Workshops . . ..... 71

17 Correlation of Parents' Reading Behaviors
with Children's Pretest Score ............ 72

18 Children's Pretest Performance as a Function
of Mothers' Reading Behavior . . . . . . .. 74

19 Children's Pretest Performance as a Function
of Fathers' Reading Behavior . . . .... 75

20 Children's Pretest Performance as a Function
of Mothers' Reading Behavior . . . . . . .. 76

21 Children's Pretest Performance as a Function
of Fathers' Reading Behavior . ... . . ..... 77

22 Children's Pretest Performance as a Function
of Mothers' and Fathers' Reading Behavior ...... 79

23 Summary of Relationship Between Children's
Reading Readiness and Parent's Behavior
Prior to Program Participation . . . . . . 81

24 Mothers' Reading Behavior as a Function of Education .. 83















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy







EFFECTS OF A PROGRAM OF FATHER-CHILD
AND MOTHER-CHILD READING
ON CHILDREN'S READING READINESS

By

TARANEH MAVADDAT DARABI

December 1979

Chairperson: Linda L. Lamme
Major Department: Curriculum and Instruction

The major purpose of this study was to examine the effects of work-

shops intended to train parents in behaviors appropriate for reading a

story book to their children. Those variables expected to be affected

were a) the behaviors emphasized in the workshops and b) the reading

readiness of the children whose parents attended the workshops. Other

objectives of this study were to determine whether mothers and fathers

interact differently with their children when reading a story book and

to study the relationship between parents' reading behaviors and (1)

their educational background and (2) the child's sex. The relationship

between the children's reading readiness and their parents' reading

behavior prior to the workshops was examined. Also examined was the


viii









relationship between children's reading readiness prior to the workshops

and (1) parents' educational background and (2) parents' frequency of

story book reading at home.

The study included 37 sets of parents and preschool children. There

were 17 female (2 black) and 20 male (1 black) children, ages three to

five years. This sample was recruited from a larger pool of 250 middle-

class parents from three nursery schools. The experimental group of 19

couples and their children was randomly selected out of 37 couples who

had volunteered to participate in this study.

Two training workshops were provided for the experimental group

parents in which handouts were distributed and discussed and videotaped

models, especially prepared for this study, were shown depicting the

behaviors discussed in the handouts as well as in the workshops. The

handouts distributed in the workshops included suggestions for a more

effective parent-child book reading episode (e.g., asking questions

that spur thinking; pointing to words and pictures; encouraging child's

participation; praising the child's efforts and additional processes too

numerous to list here).

Each parent-child was videotaped reading a story book twice (once

before and once after the treatment, ten weeks later), and the children

were tested before and after the treatment using the Reading Readiness

Subtest of the Basic School Skills Inventory (BSSI). Two story books

(Ask Mr. Bear and The Gingerbread Boy) were randomly assigned to mothers

and fathers in each treatment group at the firsr taping session. At the

second taping session, mothers and fathers were assigned the book not









previously read. Half of the mothers in the two groups received one

book at each session and the second half received the other, while their

husbands received the book not assigned to the mothers.

Parent-child reading interchange on the videotapes was coded

according to the Parent-Child Reading Interaction (PCRI) Observation

System, which was developed by the investigator.

The results of this study indicate that it is possible to alter

parents' story book reading behaviors through two workshop meetings.

There is some evidence that mothers' Dehavijrs were more amenable to

change than fathers'. Also, parents' participation in workshops resulted

in higher reading readiness gain scores for their children, especially

on items pertaining to word discrimination, ability to draw inferences,

and ability to recall factual content.

Additionally, fathers' use of thought questions after the story and

factual questions before the story was found to be predictive of their

children's reading readiness. The amount of time fathers spent reading a

story book with their daughters was related to their daughter's reading

readiness. Also, fathers showed the tendency to ask more thought questions

of their sons as compared with their daughters. Mothers' educational

background was predictive of their son's reading readiness, and mothers'

criticism and negative reinforcement tended to be inversely related to

their children's reading readiness. Finally, the mothers' story book

reading behaviors, namely their tendency to ask thought questions and give

praise, predicted their children's reading readiness.

Implications for parents, parent educators, and early childhood

teachers were discussed, as well as topics for future research.
















CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION


Educators have paid increasing attention to the home as a learning

environment and to parents as teachers of their own children during the

past ten to fifteen years. -Researchers have devoted much time to iden-

tifying the specific parental characteristics that lead to children's

cognitive development. For example, research studies of Hess, Shipman,

Brophy and Bear, 1968; Levenstein and Sunley, 1968; Olmsted, Webb and

Ware, 1977; Streissguth and Bee, 1972, have supported the hypothesis

that parental teaching behavior influences the cognitive development of

the child.

In most parent education programs the evaluation of the program

consists solely of administering intelligence or achievement tests to

Sildren who are participants and the scores from these tests have been

used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program (e.g., Hanhan and

Dunstan, 1975; Karnes, Studley, Wright and Hodgins, 1968; Schaefer, 1969).

Only a few of the parent-child studies have used observation procedures

to assess the teaching behavior of parents with children three years of

age or older (Barbrack, 1970; Kuipers, Boger and Beery, 1969; Olmsted,

Webb and Ware, 1977).

Most of parent education research has been limited to the study

of the mother-child dyad. The father-child relationship has been

severely neglected (Lamb, 1975). In the past few years, however, a

number of investigators have included fathers in their research.










From these studies, a recognition of the significance of the role of the

father in child development has emerged, but the majority of these studies

solely involved interaction of fathers with their infants. There is only

one study that has involved fathers in reading with their preschool age

children. In that study, they were asked to read story books at home,

with their children(Henry, 1974).

There are several reasons, then, why this study is important. First,

finding that it is possible to modify parental teaching behavior through

a parent program is a noteworthy addition to the research in the area.

Second, having data on both parental teaching/reading behaviors and child

academic performance enables researchers to examine the relationship

between these two variables. It is also possible to assess the amount

of variation in achievement scores accounted for by the use of these

particular teaching behaviors. Finally, such an investigation provides

an insight into father-child interactive behaviors and expands the know-

ledge of mother-child interactions.

Statement of the Problem

The concept of parents as teachers has been approached in two ways.

First, there has been increased interest in the home as a learning

environment, particularly during the child's early years. The main

analytic technique in studies of this nature has been correlation, that

is, data on parent behavior at one point in time correlated with data

on child performance at a later point in time.

A number of reading researchers have looked at children's

learning experiences at home, prior to school entrance. A common find-

ing in this area of research has been that children who learn to read










easily in school are the same children whose parents have read to them

at home (Durkin, 1961; Milner, 1951). The classic studies of Dave

(1963) and Wolf (1964) support the previous findings that the quality

of home environment and parental interest in children's intellectual

development are critical, particularly in the development of verbal

skills.

The second way researchers have approached the study of parents as

teachers has been through laboratory and field situations. For example,

studies of Flood (1977) and Olmsted, Webb and Ware (1977) have used

book-reading as the instructional task to investigate, under standard

conditions, what parents actually do when they interact with their

children. Flood (1977) studied parent-child reading behavior of 36

mother-child dyads. Flood found six story book reading behaviors that

were correlated with children's prereading score. These six behaviors

were

1. warm-up questions asked by the mother

positive reinforcement

3. number of words spoken by the child

4. postevaluative questions asked by the parent

5. number of questions asked by the child

6. number of questions answered by the child

These findings indicate that the way a parent reads with a child has an

impact upon the child's acquisition of reading readiness skills.

Olmsted, Webb and Ware (1977) studied the teaching behaviors of

two groups of parents, one group which had participated in the Florida

Parent Education Program and a second group which had not participated









in the program. Twenty-two low-income parent-child dyads participating

in the program and 22 low-income parent-child dyads who had never been

involved in a home visitation program were videotaped while reading a

book. A significant difference between program and nonprogram parents

was found in four parental teaching behaviors:

1. asking questions which have more than one correct answer

2. asking questions which require more than one word as an answer

3. encouraging the child to enlarge upon his response

4. giving the learner time to think about the problem

Also within the group of program parents a significant relationship was

found between the use of these specific teaching behaviors and both the

reading and mathematics achievement scores of the children. The results

indicate that parents can be taught appropriate teaching behaviors and

such behaviors have been shown to be related to cognitive growth in

their children.

Experimental evidence from studies of children at age one (Irwin,

1960), two (Fodor, 1966), and three (Boroughs, 1970) has also demon-

strated the positive effect on speech and language development of reading

aloud to children. For example, Irwin (1960) instructed 24 mothers to

read aloud to their one-year-old children for a total of about 15 to 20

minutes each day, pointing out and talking about the pictures, and in

general providing a rich verbal environment. It was found that the

speech development of the experimental infants at the end of the study,

18 months later, was advanced in phonetic production beyond that of the

control group children. Although the three previously mentioned studies









did not use laboratory and field situations for evaluation of mothers'

teaching behaviors, they provided further evidence that parents can be

taught to improve their children's verbal skills through the medium of

story books.

In summary, the preceding research studies have named the home

environment and frequency of parents'reading to their children as

factors related to children's success in school. Other studies have

shown not only that parents can be taught appropriate teaching behaviors

but also that changed parental behavior affects children's cognitive

development. Most researchers, however, have studied mother's behavior

through an intervention program in mother-child interaction and its

subsequent effect upon the child's cognitive development. Both parents

have rarely been included in these studies.

Bronfenbrenner (1974b) stated that 45 percent of the nation's mothers

work outside the home. One in every three mothers with children under

six is working today. As more mothers go to work, a greater number of

fathers are spending more time with their children. We need more infor-

mation on the way fathers behave and affect their children's cognitive

development.

This study was designed not only to expand the knowledge of mothers'

behavior but also to examine the fathers' behavior in interaction with

their preschool age children, as a result of the program participation.

Considerable research evidence indicating that mothers and

fathers differ in their interactions with their children necessitates

the examination of the effect of parent sex in the present study.









Lamb (1976) found that mothers held their infants more often to engage

in caregiving activities, while fathers held them most often to play.

Kotelchuck (1976) also found that fathers spent a larger percentage of

their time in playful behavior with their infants than did mothers.

Cunningham (1973) compared the interactive behaviors of mothers

and fathers with their preschool age children. Each mother-child pair

was observed in a toy-sorting situation, while each father-child pair

was observed in a block-sorting task, Cunningham found that mothers

were more verbal than fathers and also tended to use greater specificity.

However, interaction sequences were somewhat shorter with mothers than

with fathers. In general, mothers tended to introduce new concepts

more often, while fathers used a more general orientation, new approaches,

demonstrations and teaching methods.

In an investigation of the differences between mothers and fathers

Gordon, Soar and Huitt (1979) found that mothers were more verbal and

engaged in more teaching transactions than fathers when interacting

with their infants. The tasks used in this study fell into two categories,

one involving activities with an object such as a mirror, a toy on a

string, blocks and buttons, and the other purely social, as in dialogue.

In this study both mothers and fathers and their infants were observed

at seven different sessions when the infant was 13, 19, 25, 31, 37, 43

and 49 weeks of age.

In summary, research in the field reports differential instructional

behaviors for mothers and fathers. However, the difference in the tasks

assigned to mothers and fathers (as in Cunningham's study) and either the

changes in the task or the child's age during each session (as in Gordon,









Soar and Huitt's study) may have resulted in differential behaviors for

mothers and fathers. Further research on this question is needed,

This study investigated the differential behavior for mothers

and fathers assigned the same task--reading a story book to their

preschool age children.

To summarize, the central purposes of this study were to investi-

gate whether parents who are trained in the behaviors found to be

effective in story reading can, in fact, demonstrate those behaviors

when reading with their children; to investigate the effect of this

program for parents on their children's reading readiness; and to

compare the pattern of father-child and mother-child interactions during

the reading of children's books. There were four subproblems. The

first was to study the relationship between children's reading test

scores and their mothers' and fathers' educational background, and their

mothers' and fathers' frequency of story book reading at home. The

second was to study the relationship between children's reading test

scores and their mothers' and fathers' reading behavior. The third

was to study the relationship between mothers' reading behaviors and

(1) their educational background and (2) the child's sex. The fourth

subproblem was to study the relationship between fathers' reading

behavior and (1) their educational background and (2) the child's sex.

Definition of Terms

The term program in this study refers to two training workshops

in which ways of reading a story book aloud were discussed with the

parents. Details of this program are given in Chapter 3.










Parents' reading behavior is defined in terms of scores on the

Parent-Child Reading Interaction (PCRI) Observation System which includes

reading behaviors such as questions with more than one word and/or one

correct answer; factual questions; parent comments on or points to

pictures, words or sentences or discusses pictures; and additional

processes too numerous to list here.

Hypotheses

This study was designed to test the following major hypotheses:

1. While reading story books to their preschoolers, mothers and

fathers will engage in different types of interaction, as measured by

their performance recorded by systematic observation.

2. Mothers and fathers who attend workshops on reading readiness

will exhibit different story book reading behaviors from mothers and

fathers not exposed to the treatment workshops.

3. Preschoolers whose parents have attended workshops on reading

readiness will score higher on the reading readiness measure than

preschoolers whose parents have not.

The following additional hypotheses were also examined in the

present study:

4. There will be a relationship between preschool children's

performance on the reading readiness measure and (a) the education of

mothers, (b) the education of fathers, (c) the frequency of mother-child

story book reading at home, (d) the frequency of father-child story

book reading at home.

5. There will be a relationship between preschool children's

performance on the reading readiness measure and (a) mother's reading

behavior, (b) fathers' reading behavior.









6. There will be a relationship between mothers' reading behavior

and (a) the education of mothers, (b) the sex of children.

7. There will be a relationship between fathers' reading behavior

and (a) the education of fathers, (b) the sex of children.

Limitations

1. Each mother-child and father-child pair in this study was

videotaped in a laboratory setting. Videotaping, as well as the

laboratory setting, may have altered the behavior of the parents and

their children to some degree. Researchers provide conflicting reports

of the degree to which a laboratory setting affects people's behavior

(Belsky, 1977; Peterson, 1975). However, efforts were made to make

the studio setting more comfortable by explaining the videotape

equipment to the children to satisfy their curiosity and allowing them

to watch themselves and their parents on the television monitor.

2. Participants in this study were those who indicated a willingness

to get involved in this project by volunteering from a sample pool of

250 parents via a letter sent to the parents whose children were attending

three different nursery schools in Gainesville, Florida. This sampling

is considered to be representative of the middle- to upper-middle class

families in the area. Further research is needed to investigate the

behavior of low income families in a story book reading situation.

3. Eleven out of 19 couples in the experimental group did not

attend the second workshop in which the materials from the first work-

shop were reviewed and expanded. The poor attendance was in part due to

a schedule conflict between this workshop and the Annual Spring Arts

Festival in the city of Gainesville. In the analysis of data no





10



differentiation was made between the couples who had participated in

both workshops and those who had only participated in the first. This

was done because the second workshop was essentially a review and

expansion of the first; so to assure an adequate sample size, all

couples were included in the analysis.
















CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF LITERATURE


This chapter will provide a review of literature related to this

study. First, the influences of home environment and parents' story

book reading on children's reading readiness will be discussed.

Following this, findings on the relationship between parental teaching/

reading behavior and children's performance will be examined. Then,

research identifying the differences between mothers and fathers when

interacting with their children will be considered. Finally, parent

education programs aimed at modifying the teaching behavior of parents

affecting their children's development of language and reading skills

will be discussed.

Effects of Home Environment and
Reading Aloud on Children's
Reading Readiness

A child's readiness for beginning reading instruction is a combination

of many factors, including heredity, maturation, experiential background,

and learning. Heredity and maturation are not of primary interest to

this study, only experiential background and learning will be emphasized

here. A child's readiness to read can be developed, extended and

nurtured by the child's home environment as well as by his/her parents'

attitudes, behaviors, and instructional practices.

The early literature on child rearing practices and home environment

(Dave, 1963; Miller, 1969a; Milner, 1951; Wolf, 1964) suggested that the










techniques of discipline employed and the stimulating material available

in the home affect the child's ability to respond to an educational

program. Milner (1951) conducted a study to ascertain what particular

patterns of parent-child interaction were associated with reading

ability of first graders, especially when they were correspondingly

related to family social status. One hundred and eight first graders,

ages 6 years to 7 years 11 months, were selected to allow for a broad

representation of social class (upper middle-class to lower lower-class).

Out of the 108 first graders, 21 children that scored highest and 21

children that scored lowest on the California Test of Mental Maturity

constituted the experimental groups. The children were each interviewed

individually, to assess the children's feelings and perceptions of their

family interactions. (Children expressed appreciation for the time

their mothers spent taking them places and reading to them.) Mothers

were interviewed to get information on the kinds of pastimes parents

and children engage in together, the usual home routines, child-rearing

practices and daily activities. Milner found that by the time children

enter school, their reading readiness has already been significantly

affected by factors in the home environment. Specifically, the middle-

class child has a verbal advantage over a lower-class child due to the

above component of his/her home environment.

Similarly, in a study of 55 kindergarten children, Miller (1969a)

found that home prereading experiences, such as field trips, discussions,

manipulative materials, library usage, and alphabet learning, were

related to children's attainment of reading readiness but not to their

later reading achievement.










Durkin (1961, 1963) studied 49 children from upper-lower to lower-

middle class home environments. These children were given the Gates

Primary Word Recognition Test and the Gates Primary Paragraph Reading

Test. The two tests were administered within the first two weeks of

first grade, before instruction in reading began. The group was also

given the revised Stanford-Binet Scale at this time. The same testing

procedure was followed every six months for two years. The parents,

teachers and children were interviewed to determine factors other than

intelligence that might have accounted for the children's preschool

reading ability. Durkin found that mothers of early readers had a

higher educational level than the mothers of non-early readers. However,

the educational level of the father was not found to be a significant

factor on the child's reading readiness. Also, more of the mothers of

early readers pointed out words and discussed pictures when reading

aloud to children; however, they said they did this in response to

questions from the child. Durkin also found that the early readers had

been read to regularly, with related discussions of the pictures and

stories, and had been given help in learning to read at home by their

parents.

The earlier work of Dave (1963) and Wolf (1964) examined the

influence of the home upon children's intelligence and academic achieve-

ment. The two researchers used the same sample of 60 fifth grade children

in collecting data; then each analyzed the data to answer their particu-

lar questions. Each researcher defined several home environment process

characteristics as significant. Dave identified six characteristics as

significant factors of the home environment's influence on children's









educational achievement. These characteristics were achievement press,

language models, academic guidance, activeness of family, intellectuality

in the home, and family work habits. The sum of the scores on the six

environmental process variables was used as the "Index of Educational

Environment" (IEE). Of particular relevance to the present review is

the finding that the highest correlations with IEE were obtained on word

knowledge (0.77), reading (0,73) and language (0.68) (subtests of the

Metropolitan Achievement Battery).

In a study of father-to-son reading, Henry (1974) found that boys

who were read to by their fathers (N=13) two to three times a week for

six months immediately preceding entrance into first grade had signifi-

cantly higher mean scores on the Words in the Context test than boys who

were read to by their mothers (N=13). The dependent variables were

Letter Naming and Word Recognition (Isolated Words and Words in Context).

There was no significant difference among the group means on the Isolated

Word or the Letter Naming measures. Although father-read-to boys

experienced a mean of 16 weeks in treatment while mother-read-to boys

showed a mean of 22 weeks in treatment, during the same six-month period,

the higher scores of the father-read-to boys point out the important

contribution fathers can make for later reading, (This study's signifi-

cance is limited, however, because a non standardized measure was used

to evaluate word recognition as well as a small sample.)

In summary, the most significant contribution of these studies is

the clear indication that certain characteristics of the home, such as

a rich verbal environment, are related to children's reading readiness.









The present study includes in addition to such above-described

techniques as parents' questionnaire and child measures, the assessment

of specific parental teaching behaviors which may contribute to a child's

reading readiness.

Mother's Teaching/Interactive Style
and Child's Performance

This section of the review of literature is restricted to those

studies which used direct observation of mother-child interaction

focusing on language development and reading skills. There are no

father-child interaction studies in this area.

Hess, Shipman, Brophy and Bear (1968, 1969) did a landmark study of

parent-child interaction using direct observation in a structured setting.

This longitudinal study dealt with a sample of 163 black mothers and

their four-year-old children. Four different social class levels were

represented, ranging from welfare families to families at the professional

level. Each mother was taught three different simple tasks--toy-sort;

block-sort; and etch-a-sketch. She was then asked to teach her four-

year-old child each of the activities. Live observations and audio-tape

recordings were made of each activity. The results indicated that the

following aspects of maternal teaching style correlated with children's

performance, reading readiness and subsequent reaching achievement:

1. number of models mother shows child (etch-a-sketch task)

2. number of specific instructions (etch-a-sketch task)

3. orientation (block-sorting task)

4. praise and encouragement (block-sorting task)

5. specificity of feedback (block-sorting task)

6. affectionateness (etch-a-sketch and block-sorting task)










During the next ten years several other investigators utilized

these same three instructional tasks in their studies. For example,

Miller (1967, 1969b) patterned her study directly on the work of Hess

et al., using a single rating of maternal teaching behavior. Fifty-five

mother-child dyads were observed working on a jigsaw puzzle. The dyads

consisted of three socioeconomic levels--middle-class, upper-lower

class, and lower-lower class. The mother-child observation sessions

occurred near the end of the kindergarten year. Reading readiness test

scores were obtained for the sample at the end of kindergarten and

reading achievement scores were obtained at the end of the first grade.

Differences in teaching style were found to correlate with social class.

The middle-class mothers were significantly more precise and specific

in their teaching than were the lower-lower class mothers. The upper-

lower class mothers, as a group, fall between the other two groups, not

significantly different from either one. The results relating maternal

teaching style and child reading behavior were analyzed within each

socioeconomic level. For the two higher levels, there was a sijni"c. ,

correlation between maternal teaching style and reading readiness at

the end of kindergarten. Only for the middle-class sample was a

significant correlation found between maternal teaching style and chil-

dren's reading achievement. (Rating procedures have been very little

used in the study of parental teaching behavior, due to the tremendous

data reduction which occurs. Use of this procedure may have obscured

many components of mother-child interactive behaviors in this study.)

An adaptation of the block sort developed by Hess et al. was used

by Santin and Garber (1974) in their study of the relationship between









parental teaching behavior and child performance. For this study, 33

mother-child dyads residing in low-income housing projects were observed

in their homes. The children, ranging in age from 53 to 76 months, were

administered the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT). The Mother as

Teacher Task (MATT) was used here to examine the relationship between

parental teaching style and children's language development. Mother as

Teacher Task is a revised version of the eight-block sort task developed

by Hess and his associates. A stepwise multiple regression analysis was

done using 19 parental teaching variables to predict PPVT scores. Five

of the 19 variables were significant predictors of PPVT scores:

1. amount of praise

2. use of an introductory statement

3. specificity of introduction

4. use of open questions

5. nondirective teaching strategies

These results should be interpreted with caution because of the large

number of variables and the small number of subjects in the data analysis.

In another study of mother-child interaction and child's language

performance, Leler (1970) found that mother's

1. affectionateness

2. acceptance

3. praise

4. rewarding of independence

5. reasoning

6. encouragement of verbalization

and the child's ratings on independence and verbal initiative were posi-

tively correlated with the children's Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test

score.










In this study, a language sample which was secured at home and analyzed

for Mean Length of Utterance in morphemes was used to analyze mother-

child verbal interaction. Each mother-child interaction session was

observed in the home. These structured sessions consisted of telephone

conversation, jigsaw puzzle, toy dog, matching animals and homes, wild

animal pictures. Subjects in this study were 53 disadvantaged black

children, ages 2 1/2 to 3 1/2, and their mothers. Leler's study, then,

suggested that the most powerful variables associated with the language

performance of black disadvantaged children were the mother's encourage-

ment, reasoning and use of positive affect.

Evidence has been gathered which supports the assumption that the

way a mother teaches and interacts with her child influences the

language development of that child.

Reading Aloud and Children's Performance

Several studies have examined mother-child story book reading in a

structured setting. The first two were descriptive studies (Hertzman,

1973,and Flood, 1977), while the third was an evaluative study of r

parent education program (Olmsted, Webb and Ware, 1977). The last study

(Guinagh and Jester, 1972) focuses on the quality of the parental teaching/

reading skills.

Hertzman videotaped mothers and their three-year-old sons reading a

book together in a semi-structured laboratory setting. The sample

consisted of 11 middle-class and 11 lower-class dyads. Both verbal and

nonverbal behaviors were observed. The videotapes were analyzed using a

detailed rating scale which was constructed for this study. The results

indicated that "middle-class mothers spent significantly more time read-

ing to their children, and also engaged in longer verbal interactions










with them about one subject than did lower-class mothers" (p. 1615-A).

Also, middle-class mothers' length of interaction sequence, use of expla-

nation, and praise for child's self-expression were correlated with

higher IQ scores for the children. In contrast, lower class mothers used

significantly more control, especially control without explanation. This

study indicates that the frequency with which mothers engage their chil-

dren in relevant interaction, their encouragement of their children's

self-expression, and the use of control during story book reading are

class related.

Flood (1977) observed parent-child reading behavior in 36 mother-

child dyads and examined the relationship between parental story book

reading behavior and child's scores on prereading measures. The major data

analysis was done using four ethnic groups and three socioeconomic levels.

Ten prereading tasks were administered to each 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 year-old

child and a single prereading score was obtained using factor analysis.

Fourteen separate parent-child reading behaviors, 9 maternal and 5 child,

were observed during the book reading situation. A combination (f six of

the fourteen behaviors correlated significantly with the child's preread-

ing score. These six were

1. questions asked by the parent before the story was read

2. positive reinforcement

3. number of words spoken by the child

4. poststory evaluative questions asked by the parent

5. number of questions answered by the child

6. number of questions asked by the child

The third study, conducted by Olmsted, Webb and Ware (1977), used

book reading as the activity to involve the mother-child dyad in the

task. The teaching behaviors of two groups of parents, a group which










had participated in the Florida Parent Education Program, and a group

which has not participated in the program, were assessed in two program

sites. In each site, 44 low-income parent-child dyads were videotaped

reading a book together, twenty-two of which had participated in a home

visitation program and 22 of which had never been involved. According

to these researchers, four parental teaching behaviors contributed to

the differences between program and nonprogram parents. These four

teaching behaviors were

1. asking questions which require more than one word as an answer

2. asking questions which have more than one correct answer

3. encouraging the child to enlarge upon his/her response

4. giving the learner time to think about the problem

Also within the group of program parents, a significant relationship was

found between the use of these specific teaching behaviors and both the

reading and mathematics achievement scores of the children.

In another study, Guinagh and Jester (1972) studied 33 black and

17 white mothers in Appalachia in an effort to invertiE te t1.h ality

of the parental teaching/reading skills. The mothers were given a

book and asked to show it to their child. (The average age of children

in this study was two years 11 months.) The interaction between parent

and child was rated, using the Parent as Reader Scale (PARS), while the

mother was showing the book to her child. This rating scale included

some of the items from Hess et al. research. The PARS had ten items,

each of which had a scale of five points. The book used to study the

interaction between parent and child was What Do I Hear?, which linked

different objects with their corresponding sounds. The majority of

parents spent less than two minutes reading the book. It was found that










mothers rarely did anything with the possibilities of the sounds, e.g.,

imitating a cow's moo, the ring of a telephone, etc. The quality of the

interaction suggested that many mothers had little experience reading to

their children and did not utilize the book to maximize their children's

learning and enjoyment.

In summary, evidence suggests that many parents do not capitalize

on opportunities that may arise in a book reading situation to help their

children learn. However, it was found that parents with training read

to their children better than parents without training. This quality of

parental reading relates to their children's reading readiness. Overall,

the language learned from the stories, as well as the parent-child

reading behavior and the quality of interaction and discussion of stories,

makes it easier for children to learn to read. (A summary of mothers'

teaching and interactive behaviors, shown to relate to children's perfor-

mance,is presented in Table 1.)

It was the intent of this study to enhance parents' book reading

behaviors through training workshops, thus providing ri-her ic',iing

related experiences for their children.

-Mother-Child/Father-Child Interactive Differences

Most of the research studies of parent-child interaction have been

limited to the study of the mother-child dyad. The mass of data about

maternal influence on the child's development tends to deemphasize the

influence that fathers exert, and thus research on father-child inter-

action has been neglected (Lamb, 1975). However, recent literature in

the field points out that fathers are important to their children's

development. These studies also report differential instructional/

interactive behaviors for mothers and fathers.







Table 1


Parental Teaching and Interactive Behavior Shown to Relate to Child's Performance


Studies Mother's Behaviors Task


Hess, Shipman, Brophy
and Bear (1968, 1969)





Miller (1967,1969b)


Santin and Garber
(1974)


Leler (1970)


Hertzman (1973)


Number of models mother shows child
Number of specific instructions
Orientation
Praise and encouragement
Specificity of feedback
Affectionateness

Number of specific instructions

Praise
Use of an introductory statement
Specificity of introduction
Use of open questions
Nondirective teaching strategies

Affectionateness
Acceptance
Praise
Rewarding of independence
Reasoning

Praise child's self-expression
Use of alanation
Length interaction


Toy sort,block sort and
etch-a-sketch





Jigsaw puzzle

Block sort


Telephone conversation,
Jigsaw puzzle, toy dog,
Matching animals and
homes and
Wild animal pictures

Book reading







Table 1 (Continued)


Studies Mother's Behaviors Task

Flood (1977) Warm-up questions Book reading
Positive reinforcement
Poststory evaluative questions
Number of words spoken by the child
Number of questions answered by the child
Number of questions asked by the child

Olmsted, Webb and Ware Asking questions which require more than Book reading
(1977) one word as an answer
Asking questions which have more than
one correct answer
Encouraging the child to enlarge upon
his/her response
Giving learner time to think about the
problem










Studies which investigated parental interactive differences with

infants will be discussed first. Lamb (1976) observed 20 low- to

middle-class fathers and mothers interacting with their infant at home

when the children were 7 and 8 months of age. This study was conducted

to ascertain if there is a difference between father-infant and mother-

infant attachment (defined as proximity, touching, approaching, seeking

to be held, fussing, and reaching) and affiliative (defined as smiling,

vocalizing, looking, and laughing) behaviors. Lamb found that infants

have no distinct preference for either parent in terms of attachment

behavior. This might indicate that infants during the early months are

equally attached to both parents. However, Lamb reported that as early

as 8 months of age, infants preferred to play with their fathers rather

than with their mothers. Lamb has suggested that children's preference

for their fathers in play is due to qualitative differences in the way

mothers and fathers relate to their children. For example, fathers

are more likely to hold their infants in order to play with them, while

mothers are more likely to hold their infants for caretaking purpose' s.

It should be noted that fathers did not play more often with their

infants than mothers. However, the type of play in which they engaged

differed. Fathers engaged in idiosyncratic and rough-and-tumble type

of play. Lamb concluded that infants appear to relate to their mothers

primarily as attachment figures (source of security); their fathers,

however, are not only attachment figures but are preferred over the

mothers for affiliative interaction, especially play.

Supporting Lamb's findings, Clarke-Stewart (1978) suggested that

children's proximal attachment behavior with mothers and fathers is highly

similar. (The data indicated that the child attaches to the father as









well as to the mother in the early childhood.) This conclusion was

drawn from observations of 14 children with their parents when they

were 14, 20 and 30 months of age in natural and seminatural settings.

The families were white and included various socioeconomic levels

from working class to professional level. Clarke-Stewart has suggested

that infant's affiliative behavior is a function of parental behavior;

i.e., the way mothers and fathers relate to their children. For

example, in the natural observations, mothers were more interactive

than fathers in amount of verbalization, physical contact and play

with toys. In highlighting the differences between mothers and fathers,

Clarke-Stewart suggested that the type of play which fathers are more

likely to engage in is social-physical and occurs in briefer episodes.

This finding corroborates the results of Lamb (1976) who has noted the

physical and physically stimulating, nonintellectual nature of paternal

play. In contrast, Clarke-Stewart has suggested that mothers are more

likely to engage in intellectually stimulating play activities (e.g.,

reading a story book, building blocks).

The study of Weinraub and Frankel (1977) gives further support Lo

the idea that mothers and fathers behave differently when interacting

with their infants, ranging from 15 to 21 months, during a free play

situation. In this study mothers were found to be more likely to look,

vocalize, touch, encourage, nurture, sit on the floor and share play

with their child than fathers. Fathers were found to be more passive

and uninvolved (but responded to requests for help from the child), and

to engage in proximal interaction (roughhousing) more frequently than

mothers.









Gordon, Soar and Huitt (1979) videotaped 40 white middle-class

parents interacting with their first born infant in a structured teaching

situation, teaching a task corresponding to the child's age. The video-

taping sessions began when infants were 13 weeks of age and terminated

at 49 weeks of age, taking place at six weeks intervals. The pattern

of a parent showing or demonstrating nonverbally and the baby warming and

responding was observed more frequently for the fathers, while explicit

verbal teaching was observed more frequently for the mothers. It

should be noted that either the task or the child's age could have

influenced the parent-child interactive behaviors during each session,

This finding (which indicated that mothers were more verbal than

fathers) supports the Rebelsky and Hanks (1977) study, which found that

fathers' verbal interaction with their infants is minimal. Rebelsky and

Hanks studied verbal interaction of 10 fathers and their infants by means

of audiotaping all verbal interactions for a 24 hour period once every two

weeks, from three months beginning at the second week of each child's life,

They found that fathers spent an average of 37.7 seconds per day talking

with their infants in the first three months of life. Fathers also tended

to spend less time vocalizing to their infants during the last half of this

study (8-12 weeks) than in the first half (2-6 weeks); this decrease was

especially evident for fathers of girls.

The findings of the Rebelsky and Hanks study and the Clarke-Stewart

study were based on small samples; and therefore do not justify the

drawing of any strong empirical conclusions. However, the results of

these studies have been supported by other studies in the field (e.g.,

Lamb, 1976 and Gordon et al., 1979).










Differential behaviors for mothers and fathers have been established

by these studies. The type of activities mothers and fathers become

involved in, and the amount and kind of verbalizations they use, are

distinct and provide unique experiences for their infants.

Fewer studies have investigated the interactive differences between

mothers and fathers with older children. Cunningham (1973) compared the

interactive behavior of mothers and fathers with their preschool age

children in an unstructured setting. Thirty-two children between the

ages of 2 years 10 months and 3 years 9 months were videotaped separately

with their fathers and mothers. The sample consisted of both black and

white, low and middle income families. Each mother-child pair was

observed in a toy-sorting situation, while each father-child pair was

observed in a block-sorting task. Cunningham found that mothers were

more verbal than fathers and tended to use greater specificity. However,

interaction sequences were somewhat shorter with mothers than with fathers.

In general, mothers tended to introduce new concepts more often, while

fathers tended to use general orientations, new approaches and demonstra-

tions as teaching methods. Since the differences found in the mothers'

and fathers' interactive behaviors could have been due to the difference

in the task materials assigned to mothers and fathers, the results should

be interpreted with this weakness in mind.

Osofsky and O'Connell (1972) examined the effects of child behavior

upon parental behavior in a structured laboratory setting. Forty-one

five-year-old girls from white middle-class families were observed

interacting in two separate situations with the mother and the father.

Task materials were two sets of hard and easy puzzles, thus permitting

the study of parental reaction to independent and dependent child










behaviors. Parent and child behavior were videotaped and coded every 15

seconds. The authors concluded that "the child's behavior had an effect

upon the parents, with mothers and fathers interacting more and being

more controlling when the children were dependent. .. Mothers more

often encouraged the child's efforts while fathers were more likely to

help them with the task" (1972, p. 157).

This study and that of Cunningham (1973) have also reported instruc-

tional behavior differences between mothers and fathers when interacting

with their preschool age children. Due to changing life styles, fathers

are increasing their participation in childrearing activities; emphasizing

the need for further research in this area, (A summary of mother-child

and father-child teaching and interactive differences is shown in Table 2.)

In the present study, of three to five year old children, both

father-child and mother-child dyads were observed reading/interacting,

with a storybook as the task material, in a structured laboratory setting.

Parent Education Studies Pertinent to Reading Readiness

During the past fifteen years there has been a tremendous increase

in the number of parent education programs. These parent education

programs have utilized a variety of implementation procedures, have in-

volved families with children of different ages, and have operated for

varying lengths of time. This review is limited to those parent education

programs that have dealt directly with language development and reading;

through home visits, workshops and other means. These programs have

established the fact that, regardless of implementation procedures,

parents are important teachers of their children. For example, some

programs have reached families with infants, toddlers, and/or preschoolers







Table 2

Mother-Child and Father-Child Teaching and Interactive Differences


Studies Mother's Behaviors Father's Behaviors Child's Age

Lamb (1976) Holding infant for caregiving Holding infant for playing 7 and 8 months

Clarke-Stewart (1978) Nonsocial and intellectual Social-physical interaction 15, 20 and 30
interaction with objects and briefer episodes during months
during play play

Weinraub and Frankel Looking, vocalizing, touching, Passive, uninvolved, but 15 to 21 months
(1977) encouraging, nurturing and responded to requests for
sharing help; more proximal-
interactions (roughhousing)

Gordon, Soar and Huitt More explicit teaching Showing or demonstrating 3 to 13 months
(1979) More verbal nonverbally

Rebelsky and Hanks (1971) Less Verbal 2 to 13 weeks

Cunningham, (1973) More verbal specificity Using general orientations 34 to 45 months
Short interaction sequences new approaches and demonstra-
Introduction of new concepts tions as teaching methods
more often


Osofsky and O'Connell Encouraging the child's efforts Helping child with the 5 years
(1972) task









while utilizing a home visit approach (e.g., Boroughs, 1970; Foder, 1966;

Gordon and Jester, 1972; Irwin, 1969; Klaus and Gray, 1968; Levenstein

and Sunley, 1968; Schaefer, 1969); still others have reached families

with preschool age children through group meetings and workshops

(e.g., Karnes, Studley, Wright and Hodgins, 1968; O'Neil, 1976; Stern,

Marshall and Edwards, 1971; Wood, Barnard and TeSelle, 1974).

The following studies have administered intelligence or achievement

tests to children and have used the data as an indication of program

effect and indirect evidence of improvement in parental teaching behavior.

Several studies (Boroughs, 1970; Fodor, 1966; Irwin, 1960) have

investigated the effects of programs of parental reading to very young

children and have found that reading aloud affects language development.

In a study of 24 low income mothers who were instructed to read aloud

to their one-year-old children for a total of about 15 to 20 minutes

each day, Irwin (1960) found that, 18 months later, the experimental

group children were advanced in phonetic production compared to the

control group children, In other studies, daily book reading was done

with two year olds (Fodor, 1966) and three year olds (Boroughs,1970).

Boroughs and Fodor had similar results; they found that low income

children benefit from oral story reading by their parents,

Levenstein and Sunley (1968) sought to determine the effects of a

weekly home visit intervention program on maternal teaching behavior and

their children's reading readiness. In this program, called the Verbal

Interaction Project, the researchers compared the verbal intelligence

of two matched groups of a culturally disadvantaged preschoolers. The

experimental group was exposed for four months to stimulation of verbal









interaction with their mothers through play materials (toys and books)

supplied to the mother and through home visits. The mother-child dyad

was visited for half an hour 15 times during the four month period. By

the end of the four months the experimental group children had received

16 toys and 7 books. The two-year-olds in this research program were

tested using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. The results indicated

that the verbal intelligence of the experimental group children had

increased. This outcome suggests not only that environmental enrichment

can raise the verbal intelligence of two-year-old children but that

children's mothers can be effective agents of such intervention.

The following programs have concentrated on families with school age

children, involving these families in a school-based program. The

research studies conducted by Wood, Barnard and TeSelle (1974) and O'Neil

(1976) have focused on the influence of parental participation in a

school-based program on their children's reading skills. Forty kinder-

garten children whose parents participated in the program and 40 children

whose parents did not participate comprised the sample in the Wood,

Barnard and TeSelle Study. The children in this program were attending

Title I schools. Parents attended workshops where they received

instructions in working with their children on reading skills and in

making games twice a week. At the end of the program the Murphy-Durrell

Reading Readiness test on letter names and phonemes was administered

to the children. The results indicated that the children whose parents

attended the program learned more letter sounds than the children whose

parents did not attend. In another program, O'Neil (1976) found that

reading skills of primary school-age children who had been a year below









grade level, were improved by specific weekly instructional workshops

with parents and supervisions for a ten week period during the summer.

In spite of the fact that parent education programs are based on

the assumption that parents are valuable teachers of their children,

very few have included assessment of parental teaching behaviors as part

of their program evaluation. Only three programs involving parents and

children three years of age or older (i.e., Barbrack, 1970; Kuipers,

Boger and Beery, 1969; Olmsted, Webb and Ware, 1977) have used observation

procedures to assess the teaching behavior of the parents involved in the

program. For example, the Olmsted, Webb and Ware (1977) study found

significant effects of a parent education program. Data analysis indicated

that four parental teaching behaviors contributed to the differences

found between those parents who had participated in the program and those

who had not. The participants were taught specific teaching behaviors.

To assess the effectiveness of this program, the parents and their pre-

schoolers were videotaped while reading a story book. These four signif-

icant teaching behaviors were

1. asking questions which require more than one word

as an answer

2. asking questions which have more than one correct answer

3. encouraging the child to enlarge upon his/her response

4. giving the learner time to think about the problem

A significant correlation was also found between the use of these four

teaching behaviors by the experimental group parents and their children's

reading and mathematics achievement scores. Overall, this program

emphasized a small number of specific parental teaching behaviors which

were stressed during the home visits and the evaluation was focused on

these same specific behaviors.










The preceding parent education research studies have clearly shown

that parents can facilitate the development of intellectual and academic

competence of their children; that is, substantial learning can result

from parent participation. It should be noted, however, that of the many

parent education programs few have included direct assessment of parental

teaching behavior as part of their program evaluation.

In this study, then, the focus was not only on the development of

parental skills, through workshop meetings, and its subsequent effect on

children's reading skills, but also on direct assessment of parental

teaching behavior.

The research cited in this chapter revealed that home environment,

as well as certain parental attitudes and behaviors, influence children's

reading readiness, that parents can be taught how to modify their teach-

ing behaviors to assist their children's language development, and that

mothers and fathers are unique and contribute differentially to their

children's development.
















CHAPTER III
DESIGN AND PROCEDURES

The purposes of this study were to provide workshops in order to

train parents in behaviors appropriate for reading a story book and to

examine the relationship between these behaviors learned and their effect

on children's reading readiness. Other objectives of this study were to

determine whether mothers and fathers interact differently with their

children when reading a story book and to study the relationship between

parents' reading behaviors and (1) their educational background, and (2)

the child's sex. The relationship between the children's reading readiness

prior to the workshops and their parents' reading behavior prior to the

workshops was examined. There was too, as a purpose, the interest in

examining the possible relationship between children's reading readiness

prior to the workshops and (1) parents' educational background and (2)

parents' frequency of story book reading at home.

The objectives of this study were investigated through the video-

taping of each parent-child pair twice (once before and again, once

after the treatment), and testing children before and after the treatment,

using the Basic School Skills Inventory (BSSI). The experimental group

of 19 couples and their children were randomly selected out of 37 couples

who had volunteered to participate in this study. Different types of

data analyses were employed to test the objectives of this study; namely,

univariate and multivariate analysis of variance, analysis of covariance,

correlation and stepwise regression procedures.









Hypotheses

This study was designed to test the following major hypotheses:

1. While reading story books to their preschoolers, mothers and

fathers will engage in different types of interaction, as measured by

their performance recorded by systematic observation.

2. Mothers and fathers who attend workshops on reading readiness

will exhibit different story book reading behaviors from mothers and

fathers not exposed to the treatment workshops.

3. Preschoolers whose parents have attended workshops on reading

readiness will score higher on the reading readiness measure than

preschoolers whose parents have not.

The following additional hypotheses were also examined in the

present study:

4. There will be a relationship between preschool children's

performance on the reading readiness measure and (a) the education of

mothers, (b) the education of fathers, (c) the frequency of mother-child

story book reading at home and (d) the frequency of father-child story

book reading at home.

5. There will be a relationship between preschool children's

performance on the reading readiness measure and (a) mother's reading

behavior and (b) fathers' reading behavior.

6. There will be a relationship between mothers' reading behavior

and (a) the education of mothers and (b) the sex of children.

7. There will be a relationship between fathers' reading behavior

and (a) the education of fathers and (b) the sex of children.









Subjects

The subjects in this study included 37 sets of parents and preschool

children from the Baby Gator, St. Michael, and Millhopper nursery schools

in Gainesville, Florida. The sample consisted of 34 white and three

black families. There were 17 female (2 black) and 20 male (1 black)

children. This sample was recruited from a sample pool of 250 parents

via a letter sent to the parents with an attached brief questionnaire

(See Appendix A for letter and questionnaire). The volunteer parents

were randomly assigned to two treatment groups; 19 experimental, 18

control. The preschool children were three-four- and five-year-olds

from upwardly mobile families from middle-class backgrounds, or from

middle to upper-middle class backgrounds, as determined by using the

Warner Index of Status Characteristics (Warner, Meeker and Eells, 1949),

Number of children in each age category is shown in Table 3.

Treatment

Two workshops were provided for the experimental group parents to

help them learn and understand the underlying factors involved in a

successful story book reading, thus enabling the investigator to assess

not only parental teaching behaviors but also children's performance in

the evaluation of this parent education program. Only two workshops

were structured primarily because (1) of the father's busy schedule and

fear of attrition if the time period was expanded beyond ten weeks, and

(2) it was hypothesized by the investigator that two workshops were

adequate in order to introduce the materials relevant to the topic while

concomitantly allowing time for parents to practice behaviors necessary

for story book reading, with the second workshop providing feedback,

further discussion and clarification of the materials.
















Table 3

Number of Children in Each Age Categorya


Age Experimental Control
(years) Group Group


3 10 7

4 8 10

5 1 1


aN = 37










In these workshops handouts were distributed and discussed, and

videotaped models were shown depicting the behaviors discussed in the

handouts as well as in the workshops (See Appendix E for the two workshop

handout materials). The handouts distributed in the workshops included

suggestions for a more effective teaching/reading parent-child book

reading episode (e.g., asking questions that spur thinking; praising;

pointing to words and pictures; and additional processes too numerous

to list here). These suggestions were identified in and extracted from

the available literature as effective behaviors which would provide a

rich book reading experience for parents and their children.

The videotaped models that were especially taped for this study

showed a parent reading a story book to his/her child in a neutral

manner and a parent exhibiting techniques discussed in the workshop as

being necessary for a successful and educative story book reading period.

The experimental group mothers and fathers were asked to read separately

to their preschoolers at least three nights a week. The previously

cited research was in support of reading to preschool age children on a

regular basis to ensure success in learning to read. To encourage

consistency, parents were asked to fill out a reading chart calendar

provided for them at the first workshop and to audiotape one of their

reading sessions at home. The reading charts were collected at the

second taping session and the audio tapes were collected at the second

workshop. Fifteen out of 19 couples in the experimental group turned

in their reading chart calendar. The charts indicated that mothers

read as often as they had previously done (which was often) and

fathers read more often than they had initially reported on the










questionnaire (which was seldom), which the investigator hypothesizes

was due to program participation.

Data Collection

The parent-child reading interactions were videotaped twice, once

at the beginning and once at the end of the study for both the control

and experimental groups. The two taping sessions were ten weeks apart.

(However, the actual length of time from the first workshop to the

final taping was seven weeks.) At each videotaping session, the parent

was presented with a story book and standard instructions which asked

them to read and become familiar with the story book before taping began

(See Appendix C for instructions). The two books selected were Ask Mr.

Bear (Flack, 1932), which Flood (1977) had used in his study and The

Gingerbread Boy (1962). These two particular books were chosen because

each reached a unique climax which encouraged the child to guess and

anticipate the outcome, while maintaining interest in that outcome.

Also, these stories were cumulative, having a number of phrases that

were repeated often throughout the story allowing for child involvement.

The two story books were randomly assigned to mothers and fathers

in each treatment group at the first taping session. At the second

taping, mothers and fathers were assigned the book not previously read.

Half of the mothers in the two groups received one book at each session

and the second half received the other, while their husbands received

the book not assigned to the mothers.

Before beginning the taping, parents and children took a brief

look at the videotape equipment to satisfy their curiosity. The video-

taping took place in a studio on the University of Florida campus that










had been temporarily set up for this purpose. It consisted of a 12' x 12'

enclosure with two small holes cut into a panel, two cameras, three

monitors, a camera mixer, and a reel-to-reel recorder. The participants

sat inside this enclosure on a chair (child was sitting on parents' lap).

At the conclusion of the book reading activity, the parent and the child

were given the opportunity to view a portion of their own videotape.

At that time the parent was asked to sign the consent form to give

permission to test the child and to use the videotape for educational

purposes (See Apoendix D for the consent form).

The data on education and reading frequency of parents were collected

via a questionnaire at the beginning of the study (See Appendix A).

Tests and Instruments

Test Materials

The achievement test data for the preschool children consisted of

a score for the Reading Readiness Subtest of the Basic School Skills

Inventory (BSSI)(1975). (The KR 20 reliability coefficients for the

Reading Readiness Subtest of the BSSI are reported to be 0.88 for four-

year-old and 0.86 for five-year-old children.) The Peabody Picture

Vocabulary Test (PPVT) was also administered to the children and the

raw score was used as the covariate for the data analysis. The analysis

of covariance was used to control statistically any initial differences

among the preschool children. The reliability coefficients for raw

scores are reported to be 0.75 for three-year-old, 0.81 for three and

a half year old, 0.77 for four-year-old, 0.72 for four'and a half year

old and 0.73 for five-year-old children. The reliability coefficients

for PPVT were obtained by calculating Pearson Product-moment Correlations.









Parent-Child Reading Interaction Observation System

The Parent-Child Reading Interaction (PCRI) Observation System,

which was developed by the investigator, was used for observation and

coding of the videotapes. The PCRI Observation System employed a

number of items from previously published instruments; i.e., Mother-

Child Verbal Interaction (Olmsted and Jester, 1972); Parent as Reader

Scale (Guinagh and Jester, 1972); Desirable Teaching Behaviors (Olmsted,

Webb and Ware, 1977); Parent and Child Reading Episode (Flood, 1977);

and Parent-Child Reading Observation Schedule (Lamme and Olmsted, 1977).

Olmsted, Webb and Ware (1977) reported that Desirable Teaching Behaviors

used by the parents in their study correlated both with reading (r = .50,

p < .001) and math (r = .35, p < .05) subtests of Stanford Achievement

tests. In addition, Guinagh and Jester (1972) indicated that the corre-

lation coefficient of Parent as Reader Scale with the child's IQ was .30,

p < .05. The items from these scales were modified to reflect dimensions

of parent-child reading behavior assumed to be related to children's

reading readiness development. For the present study, there were 17

categories for the parent and 16 categories for the child with 7

additional categories for miscellaneous behaviors and 1 category for the

overall rating of the quality of interaction shown on the videotape.

Each parent-child reading interaction session was divided into three

sections (before, during, and after reading the story book) where the

same categories were repeated for parent and child (See Appendix B for

the PCRI Observation System and the coding manual). The means and

standard deviations of behaviors shown on the posttapes coded by the PCRI

Observation System are presented in Table 4.






Table 4


Means and Standard Deviations of the Items for the Three Sections of PCRI Observation Systema


Section 1 Section 2 Section 3

Ttem description Means S.D. Means S.D. Means S.D.


Questions with more than a single word answer 0.35 0.82 1.95 3.25 0.18 0.48
Questions with more than one correct answer 0.35 0.82 1.89 3.16 0.15 0.43
Child's response to above questions 0.22 0.61 1.27 2.47 0.12 0.37
Other questions 2.34 3.17 9.54 8.62 1.37 1.82
Child's response to other questions 0.88 1.36 3.18 3.50 0.32 0.84
Child's other responses a. 0.16 0.47 0.54 1.18 0.03 0.16
b. 0.46 1.00 1.58 2.65 0.30 0.56
c. 0.41 1.12 2.17 2.10 0.34 0.80
d. 0.46 1.00 1.81 2.52 0.42 0.87
Child's questions 0.13 0.47 1.20 2.11 0.06 0.30
Parent fails to respond to child's question 0.01 0.11 0.14 0.65 0.00 0.00
Parent answers the child's questions 0.16 0.57 1.00 1.73 0.05 0.28
Parent comments 1.16 1.63 4.73 4.45 0.47 0.96
Child comments 0.28 0.73 2.55 3.21 0.15 0.43
Parent points to pictures 0.70 1.68 6.10 7.35 0.06 0.38
Child points to pictures 0.31 0.70 2.93 4.10 0.04 0.20
Parent points to pictures and discusses them 0.03 0.16 1.80 7.40 0.00 0.00
Child points to pictures and discusses them 0.00 0.00 0.22 0.65 0.00 0.00
Parent points to words 1.36 2.52 6.05 10.22 0.04 0.20
Child points to words 0.53 1.49 0.58 2.05 0.03 0.16
Parent points to words and discusses them 0.05 0.46 0.04 0.20 0.00 0.00
Child points to words and discusses them 0.03 0.16 0.01 0.12 0.00 0.00
Parent points to sentences 0.01 0.12 9.64 19.30 0.00 0.00
Child points to sentences 0.00 0.00 0.32 1.38 0.00 0.00
Negative reinforcement (parent) 0.03 0.23 0.27 0.75 0.01 0.11
Negative reinforcement (child) 0.00 0.00 0.19 0.97 0.01 0.11


aN = 74






Table 4 (Continued)


Section 1 Section 2 Section 3

Item description Means S.D. Means S.D. Means S.D.


Positive reinforcement (parent) 0.77
Positive reinforcement (child) 0.21
Negative reinforcement with explanation (parent)0.03
Negative reinforcement with explanation (child) 0.00
Positive reinforcement with explanation (parent)0.03
Positive reinforcement with explanation (child) 0.00
Parent encourages child to enlarge upon his/her
answer 0.00
Parent encourages child to participate in the
story 0.12
Child participates in the story as a result of
parent's encouragement 0.08
Child participates spontaneously 0.27


1.54
0.80
0.16
0.00
0.16
0.00


0.00

0.39

0.27
0.67


Item description Miscellaneous Items

Parent mentions title and reads from cover or title pages
Parent retells story
Child retells story
Parent and child retell story
Miscellaneous tallies
a. Parent touches child
b. Child looks away, bored
c. Parent looks at child
d. Mutual glances
e. Child looks at parent
Who turns pages?
a. Parent
b. Child
c. Both


4.00
1.00
0.82
0.48
0.68
0.00


0.03 0.23

7.40 10.31

5.84 8.96
1.67 2.60


Means

4.00
0.85
0.03
0.01

0.01
0.61
3.47
4.11
0.91

0.47
0.77
0.05


0.23
0.05
0.04
0.00
0.01
0.00


0.00 0.00

0.01 0.11

0.01 0.11
0.01 0.11


S.D.

0.00
0.36
0.16
0.11

0.11
1.14
10.30
6.23
1.59

0.81
0.42
0.23


0.45
0.23
0.20
0.00
0.11
0.00









Coder Training and Agreement

Two graduate students, one with a background in early childhood

education and the other with training in reading education, acted as

observers. They were given 40 hours of intensive training by the

investigator. During the training sessions, the two observers made

independent viewings of a videotape and then made frequency counts

for PCRI items. The two observers then compared their counts and

resolved differences by observing the videotapes a third time.

Periodic checking, once at the beginning and at another time during

the coding of the actual videotapes, was done to insure that the coders

did not drift from their agreement regarding the coded items of the

various behaviors. The videotapes were randomly assigned to the two

observers.

Twenty-one parent child reading interaction videotape segments

were randomly selected and used to establish intercoder agreement. (These

21 videotape segments are the tapes that both of the coders observed.)

Intercoder agreement was calculated using correlation analysis to obtain

Pearson Product-moment Correlation Coefficients (r). This analysis reflects

the degree of reliability between each coded item or item composites as

observed by the two coders. The reliability coefficients for the Parent-

Child Reading Interaction (PCRI) Observation System are given in Table 5.

The measures of observer agreement reported are not those of

percent agreement which are usually reported in observational studies.

As Medley and Mitzel (1963) point out, it is possible to have 100

percent agreement where there is no discrimination between the subjects







Table 5


Intercoder Reliability for PCRI Observation Systema


Coder
Variable A B

Number Name r Mean SD Mean SD


1. Questions with more than one word Before reading story .71* 1.09 0.31 1.21 0.37
and/or one correct answer While reading story .90* 2.00 1.07 1.80 1.14
After reading story .84* 1.14 0.37 1.21 0.46

2. Other questions Before reading story .85* 1.48 0.71 1.37 0.68
While reading story .87* 2.53 0.89 2.22 0.93
After reading story .71* 1.62 0.83 1.58 0.77

3. Child's response to variable 1 Before reading story .41 1.02 0.09 1.08 0.18
While reading story .91* 1.43 0.64 1.53 0.76
After reading story .80* 1.08 0.30 1.12 0.30

4. Child's other responses Before reading story .83* 1.31 0.48 1.26 0.43
While reading story .90* 2.26 0.74 2.00 0.71
After reading story .62* 1.48 0.72 1.51 0.60

5. Child's responses to variable 2 Before reading story .91* 1.25 0.45 1.21 0.41
While reading story .68* 1.60 0.71 1.50 0.54
After reading story .83* 1.24 0.61 1.21 0.41

6. Child comments or points to Before reading story .91* 1.25 0.38 1.20 0.40
sentences, words or pictures and While reading story .76* 1.72 0.74 1.76 0.78
discusses pictures After reading story .92* 1.30 0.83 1.38 0.94


aN = 21

p < .001







Table 5 (Continued)


Coder


Variable A B

Number Name r Mean SD Mean SD


7. Positive reinforcement with/
without explanation


8. Parent comments or points to
pictures, words or sentences
and discusses pictures or words

9. Parent encourages child to
participate in story


10. Child participates in story as a
result of variable 9


11. Child participates spontaneously



12. Negative reinforcement with/
without explanation


13. Parent looks at child, child
looks at parent or parent-
child mutual glances


Before reading story
While reading story
After reading story

Before reading story
While reading story
After reading story

Before reading story
While reading story
After reading story

Before reading story
While reading story
After reading story

Before reading story
While reading story
After reading story

Before reading story
While reading story
After reading story


.86* 1.28 0.51
.75* 2.00 0.80
.85* 1.28 0.68


1.16 0.36
1.65 0.68
1.14 0.30


.97* 1.74 0.96 1.60 0.95
.98* 4.36 2.56 4.30 2.73
.95* 1.41 0.95 1.65 1.13

.20 1.04 0.12 1.08 0.24
.88* 1.85 0.91 1.67 0.75
.70* 1.02 0.09 1.04 0.12

.22 1.04 0.12 1.07 0.20
.95* 1.72 0.86 1,56 0.74
.00 1.00 0.00 1.04 0.12


.73*
.70*
-.07

-.05
.75*
.84*


1.10 0.25
1.42 0.60
1.04 0.12

1.02 0.10
1.20 0.30
1.10 0.35


1.10 0.25
1.45 0.58
1.02 0.10

1.02 0.10
1.36 0.46
1.14 0.28


.84* 2.95 1.34 3.20 1.29









observed; e.g., as when all or none of the subjects display the behavior

being observed. The data reported here, in contrast, are correlations

which reflect the extent to which the two observers agreed on the dis-

criminations they made between parents.

As may be seen in Table 5, some reliability coefficients for

reading story segments of variables 3, 9, 10, 11 and 12 were not

significant. This probably occurred because all of the parents exhibited

about the same level of behavior and,therefore, their reliabilities would

be low. Thus, these variables were omitted from further analysis. Several

variables in Table 5 were obtained by combining categories either because

the categories were conceptually similar or because the incidence of

behavior in two or more categories was correlated. Their intercorrela-

tions are shown in Appendix F.

Data Analysis

Hypothesis 1 was tested by t-test analysis, which provided for the

comparison of the mothers' and fathers' reading behaviors. The indepen-

dent variable for this hypothesis was the sex of the parents with the

dependent variable being their behavior. This analysis was carried for

each item or item composite of PCRI Observation System.

Hypothesis 2 was tested by using the General Linear Model (GLI)

procedure of the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) to conduct both

univariate and multivariate analysis of variance. There were five types

of dependent variables for Hypothesis 2: (a) the behavior of mothers

while reading a story book with their children, (b) the behavior

of children while reading a story book with their mothers, (c) the

behavior of fathers while reading a story book with their children,









(d) the behavior of children while reading a story book with their

fathers, and (e) the difference between the variables describing the

mothers' and fathers' reading styles. In each case a measure of raw

gain scores (post-pre) was used. The independent variables for this

hypothesis were treatment and the sex of the child.

Hypothesis 3 was tested by using the SAS GLM procedure to carry out

an analysis of covariance. The dependent variable for this hypothesis

was the child's posttest score on the BSSI. There were two independent

variables, the sex of the child and the treatment variable. The indepen-

dent variables also included three covariates: (a) children's pretest

scores on the BSSI, (b) raw score on the PPVT, and (c) age of the child.

Hypothesis 4 was tested by using the SAS GLM to carry out analysis

of variance (ANOVA) and the SAS correlation procedure (CORR). The

dependent variable for Hypothesis 4 was the children's pretest score.

In the ANOVA the independent variables were mothers' education (MED),

fathers' education (FED), Mothers' story book reading frequency (MREAD)

and Fathers' story book reading frequency (FREAD). The interactions

were also investigated. Correlation analysis was used to measure the

strength of relationship between MED, FED, MREAD, FREAD and the children's

pretest score. Correlations were computed for the boys and the girls

separately.

Hypothesis 5 was tested by using the SAS CORR, GLM and stepwise

regression procedures. The sum of squares for multiple regression

procedure represents unique variance. The stepwise regression procedure

recalculates weights at each step so that the results for each variable

do not depend on the order of entry. The dependent variable was the





49



children's pretest score on the BSSI, while the parents' reading style

was the independent variable,

Hypothesis 6 was tested by using the SAS GLM procedure, The

dependent variable was mothers' reading behavior and the independent

variables were the education of mothers and the sex of children.

Hypothesis 7 was tested by using the SAS GLM procedure. The

dependent variable was fathers' reading behavior and the independent

variables were the education of fathers and the sex of children.

Type IV sum of squares which reflects unique variance was used in

all of the analyses of variance and covariance.

For all hypotheses the .05 level of significance was used.
















CHAPTER IV
RESULTS

The results of the statistical tests (for the previously stated

hypotheses) are presented in this chapter. The results of the

hypotheses tested are organized into two segments: the data from the

children and the data from the parents.

Children's Data

Treatment Effect

Hypothesis 3: Preschoolers whose parents have
attended workshops on reading
readiness will score higher on
the reading readiness measure
than preschoolers whose parents
have not.

Hypothesis 3 was tested using the analysis of covariance. The

three covariates were child's age, raw score on the Peabody Picture

Vocabulary Test and pretest score on the Basic School Skills Inventory

(BSSI). As part of the analysis of covariance assumption of homogeneity

of regression was tested. This assumption requires the slope of the

regression line be the same within each population under study (i.e.,

the experimental and control groups). It was found that the slopes

of the regression line were equal (i.e., there was no slope-treatment

interaction). The results of this analysis are shown in Table 6.

A significant main effect was found for the treatment. The tests

for the main effect for sex and the interaction of treatment

and child's sex did not result in significant F values. Thus the

















Table 6

Reading Readiness Achievement Scores as a
Function of Treatment and Child's Sexa


Variable df MS F


Treatment (TRT) 1 85.30 4.21*
Sex 1 24.35 1.20
Sex*TRT 1 28.51 1.41
Pretest 1 233.77 11.54**
Peabody 1 93.66 4.62*
Age 1 8.05 0.40
Error 30 20.25

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 23.75
Control 20.63


= 37
< .05
- .01









hypothesis concerning the contribution of the parents who participated

in the program to their preschoolers'reading readiness was supported.

The adjusted means for the two treatment groups were calculated and

are shown in Table 6. The difference between these two numbers is an

estimate of the mean difference between the experimental and control

groups. An examination of the standard deviation with a value of 4.50

(the square root of the error MS) indicates that the treatment effect

was approximately 0.7 standard deviation.

The Chi square test of independence was used to determine whether

the distribution of the BSSI Reading Readiness Subtest items (12) was

the same for the children in the two treatment groups after intervention.

The Chi square test was only used for analysis of those items in the

Reading Readiness Subtest which had only two possible outcomes. Item

One (word discrimination) on the Reading Readiness Subtest was signifi-

cant using the Chi square test of independence (x2 = 4.1, p < .05). The

analysis of covariance was used for the analysis of those items on the

Reading Readiness Subtest which had more than two possible outcomes. A

significant main effect for Item Four (ability to draw inferences) was

found F [1,36] = 4.05, p < .05 The interaction of treatment and

child's sex resulted in a significant F value F[1,36] = 4.37, p < .05

for Item Three (ability to recall factual content). The experimental

group boys scored higher than the control group boys on Item Three of

the Reading Readiness Subtest.









Correlates of Children's Pretests

Hypothesis 4: There will be a relationship between
preschool children's performance on
the reading readiness measure and a)
the education of mothers, b) the
education of fathers, c) the frequency
of mother-child story book reading at
home, d) the frequency of father-child
story book reading at home.

Hypothesis 4 was tested using analysis of variance. The results

of this analysis are presented in Table 7. The main effects as well

as the interactions among the child's sex, parental education and

parental reading frequency did not result in significant F values.

Thus Hypothesis 4, concerning the children's performance on the BSSI

Reading Readiness Subtest as a function of their parents' education

and story book reading frequency, was not supported. Table 8 reports

the educational background of mothers and fathers who participated in

this study.

The correlation analysis was then employed to test and discover

which variable was related to children's reading readiness, while

contro.ini ,r tarild's sex. Table 9, for example, reports the test

results of father's education in relation to the child's reading

readiness, partialling out the child's sex. Table 9 shows that there

is a significant correlation between the mothers' education and their

male child's reading readiness performance. The amount of time fathers

spent reading to their preschool age daughters narrowly missed reaching

five percent statistical significance.
















Table 7


Children's Protest Score as
Parents' Education, Frequency of
Child's Sexa


a Function of
Story Book Reading and


Variable df MS F


A. Father's Education 1 0.50 0.02
B. Mother's Education 1 55.56 1.96
C. Mother's Frequency of
Story Book Reading 1 0.50 0.02
D. Father's Frequency of
Story Book Reading 1 10.00 0.35
E. Sex 1 0.30 0.01
F. E D 1 26.24 0.92
G. E C 1 1.00 0.03
H. E B 1 3.16 0.11
I. E A 1 15.00 0.53
J. B C 1 0.10 0.00

Error 28 28.40

















Table 8

Education Level of Mothers and Fathersa


Experimental Group Control Group

Education Level Mother Father Mother Father


Baccalaureate and
Below:

High School 3 3
Junior College 3 4
College 9 7 6 10

Graduate:

Master's 5 3 4 2
Ph.D./M.D./J.D. 8 7



aN = 37
















Table 9

Correlation of Parents' Education and
Reading Frequencies with Child's Pretest Scorea


Child's Sex
Male (N = 20) Female (N = 17)


Father's Education -0.05 0.16

Mother's Education 0.48** 0.02

Mother's Reading -0.08 -0.25

Father's Reading 0.05 0.43*


aN = 37
*.05 < p < .1
**p < .05









Parent's Data

Treatment Effect

Hypothesis 2: Mothers and fathers who attend
workshops on reading readiness
will exhibit different story
book reading behaviors from
mothers and fathers not exposed
to the treatment workshops.

In this hypothesis, there were 24 dependent variables in a break-

down of 13 parent behaviors and 11 child behaviors. With these many

dependent variables there was a large probability of obtaining a

small number of significant results by chance alone. To allow for

this in the interpretation of the data, the following strategy was

devised. The dependent variables were divided into two sets, One set

included 13 measurements of parental behaviors that, in theory, should

be affected by the treatment. These 13 behaviors could have occurred

anywhere in the three sections of the story book reading. For example,

a behavior such as asking "thought questions" is counted three times,

one before, one during and one after reading a story. The second set

included all other variab :'s (11) pertaining to children's behaviors

as a result of their parents' participation in this study. A series of

univariate gain score analyses (post-pre) was then conducted. The alpha

level was set at .05 for all analyses. If there was no treatment effect

for Hypothesis 2, then one would expect to find .05 x 13 (approximately

a half) significant treatment main effects in set one for each of the

mothers and the fathers, and .05 x 11 (a half) significant treatment main

effects in set two for the children. In addition, the same number of

significant sex by treatment interactions would be expected for each set,
















Table 10

Mothers' Reading Behavior as a Function of
Treatment and Child's Sexa


Variable df MS F


Questions with more than one word and/or
one correct answer (before reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 2.30 11.36*
Sex 1 0.36 1.82
TRT*Sex 1 0.30 1.51
Error 33 1.66

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 0.43
Control -0.08


Questions with more than one word and/or
one correct answer (while reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 17.15 10.34*
Sex 0.98 0.60
TRT*Sex 1 0.31 0.91
Error 33 0.20

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 0.89
Control -0.50


Other questions (before reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 3.73 11.27*
Sex 1 0.05 0.17
TRT*Sex 1 0.68 2.07
Error 33 0.33

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 0.70
Control 0.05









Table 10 (Continued)


Variable df MS F


Other questions (while reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 20.72 16.54**
Sex 1 0.37 0.30
TRT*Sex 1 2.90 2.30
Error 33 1.25

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 1.46
Control -0.06


Parent comments or points to words, sentences
or pictures and discusses pictures or
words (before reading story)


Treatment (TRT)
Sex
TRT*Sex
Error


Groups


6.23
0.36
0.07
0.36


17.33*
1.02
0.21


Adjusted Means


Experimental
Control


1.02
0.18


Parent comments or points to words, sentences
or pictures and discusses pictures or
words (while reading story)


Treatment (TRT)
Sex
TRT*Sex
Error

Groups

Experimental
Control


Adjusted Means

2.44
-0.00


52.82
4.40
1.40
4.30


12.35*
1.03
0.33










Table 10 (Continued)


Variable df MS F


Parent encourages child to participate in story
(while reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 12.05 9.00*
Sex 1 0.01 0.01
TRT*Sex 1 0.05 0.04
Error 33 1.34

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 1.17
Control 0.00


aN = 37
*p < .01
**p < .001









Table 10 reports the analysis which yielded significant results for

mothers. Seven significant main effects from set one (for mothers who

participated in the program) were found which exceeded the number

expected by chance. This finding indicates a significant treatment effect

for mothers who participated in the program. Two significant main effects

from set two (for children while reading with their mother) were found

(See Table 11). This is about the number expected by chance. Table 12

reports the analysis that yielded significant results for fathers from

set one. Three significant main effects for treatment and two signifi-

cant sex by treatment interactions were found, which are approximately

the number expected by chance. Five significant treatment main effects

from set two (for children while reading with their father) were found

which exceeded the number expected by chance. This finding is reported

in Table 13, which indicates significant treatment effect for children

reading with their fathers. Following the gain score analysis multivariate

analysis of variance was employed, for those variables that did not show

significance foe e~thor t'l mother or father. A significant multivariate

test indicates the valuable was affected for the mother or father, or for

both parents. The overall multivariate F values for the variables of

child's commenting on or pointing to pictures or words or discussing

pictures, and child's responses to other questions using Criterion method

Hotelling-Lawley Trace, were F [2,32] = 3.27, p < .05 and F [2,32] = 4.61,

p < .05. Since only two significant results of multivariate analysis of

variance were found, no table is reported. Overall, there were nine

child reading behaviors out of a total of 22 possible behaviors (when

children were reading with both their mother and father) that were
















Table 11

Child's Reading Behavior While Reading With the Mother
as a Function of Treatment and Child's Sexa


Variable df MS F


Child's Other responses (before reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 2.06 8.23*
Sex 1 0.05 0.21
TRT*Sex 1 0.37 1.47
Error 33 0.25

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 0.50
Control 0.01


Child's Other responses (while reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 14.82 15.74**
Sex 1 0.07 0.07
TRT*Sex 1 0.08 0.09
Error 33 0.94

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 1.08
Control -0.22


= 37
< .01
< .001
















Table 12

Fathers' Reading Behavior as a Function of
Treatment and Child's Sexa


Variable df MS F


Questions with more than one word and/or
one correct answer (before reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 1.62 7.57*
Sex 1 0.01 0.05
TRT*Sex 1 0.19 0.89
Error 33 0.21

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 0.33
Control -0.09


Other questions (while reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 11.83 11.13*
Se 1 0.06 0.06
TRT*Sex 1 0.05 0.05
Error 33 1.06

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 1.40
Control 0.24


Other questions (after reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 0.02 0.81
Sex 1 0.05 0.14
TRT*Sex 1 4.71 11.46*
Error 33 0.41

Groups Adjusted Means

Experinental- Female 0.44
Male -0.33
Control Female -0.36
Male 0.31









Table 12 (Continued)


Variable df MS F


Positive reinforcement with/without explanation
(after reading story)

Treatment(TRT) 1 0.20 4.03
Sex 1 0.02 0.54
TRT*Sex 1 0.39 7.79*
Error 33 0.05

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental- Female 0.06
Male -0.21
Control Female 0.00
Male 0.15


Parent comments or points to words, sentences
or pictures and discusses pictures or words
(while reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 60.48 7.70*
Sex 1 0.30 0.04
TRT*Sex 1 4.82 0.61
Error 33 7.86

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 2.85
Control 0.24


aN = 37
*p < .01















Table 13

Child's Reading Behavior While Reading With the Father
as a Function of Treatment and Child's Sexa


Variable df MS F


Child's response to questions with more than one word
and/or one correct answer (while reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 2.13 5.02*
Sex 1 0.04 0.11
TRT*Sex 1 1.65 3.89
Error 33 0.42

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 0.38
Control -0.11


Child's response to Other questions (before reading story)

Treatment(TRT) 1 1.61 8.38**
Sex 1 0.71 0.91
T'RT*Sex 1 0.02 0.11
Error 33 0.20

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 0.50
Control 0.04


Child comments or points to words or pictures and
discusses pictures (while reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 6.25 8.62**
Sex 1 0.25 0.35
TRT*Sex 1 0.13 0.18
Error 33 0.72

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 1.08
Control 0.25










Table 13 (Continued)


Variable df MS F


Child's Other responses (while reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 12.84
Sex 1 0.00
TRT*Sex 1 0.03
Error 33 0.72

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental 1.05
Control -0.15


Child participates spontaneously (before reading story)

Treatment (TRT) 1 0.16
Sex 1 0.28
TRT*Sex 1 0.31
Error 33 0.05

Groups Adjusted Means

Experimental- Female 0.36
Male 0.00
Control Female 0.04
Male 0.05


aN = 37
*p < .05
**p < .01
***p < .001


17.69***
0.00
0.04


2.81
4.78
5.35*









affected, before, during and after reading a story, for children as a

result of what the parents learned through the program workshops,

utilizing both univariate and multivariate analyses of variance.

A summary of the results from set one, given in Tables 10 and 12,

is presented in Table 14, A corresponding summary of the results from

set two, given in Tables 11 and 13, is presented in Table 15,

With regard to the dependent variable of the difference between

mothers' and fathers' gain scores, there were no significant treatment

main effects and only one significant treatment by sex interaction. The

resulted significant F value was F (1,33) = 7.10, p < ,05, This result

was for the variable "parent comments on or points to sentences, words

or pictures and discusses pictures or words." Since there were a large

number of significance tests, the latter result could well be due to

chance. The former result supports the hypothesis that the treatment

effect is the same for both mothers and fathers. It might be noted that

the data analysis which treated the parents separately seemed to give

stronger evidence for a treatment effect on the mothers than for an

effect on the fathers. 'Ihe results of these two analyses then are not

entirely consistent,

Thus, Hypothesis 2 concerning program participation effects and

consequent parent-child book reading behavior change was supported,

especially for mothers, and for children reading with their fathers.

















Table 14

Summary of Behaviors Changed as a Result of
Mothers' and Fathers' Program Participation


Variable Mothers Fathers


Questions with more than one word and/or
one correct answer
Before reading story x x
While reading story x

Other questions
Before reading story x
While reading story x x
After reading story xa

Parent comments or points to words,
sentences or pictures and discusses
pictures or words
Before reading story x
While reading story x x

Parent encourages chi'a to participate
in story
While reading story x

Positive reinforcement with/without
explanation
After reading story xa


aSignificant interaction for girls








Table 15

Summary of Child's Reading Behaviors



Child's Behavior
Variable Mother Father Mother or Father
or Both

Child's Other responses
Before Reading Story x
While Reading Story x x

Child's responses to questions with more than
one word and/or one correct answer
While Reading Story x

Child responses to Other questions
Before Reading Story x
While Reading Story x

Child comments or points to words or pictures
and discusses pictures
Before Reading Story x
While Reading Story x

Child participates spontaneously
Before Reading Story xa


aSignificant interaction.for girls









Parent's Sex

Hypothesis 1: While reading story books to their
preschoolers, mothers and fathers
will engage in different types of
interaction, as measured by their
performance recorded by systematic
observation,

Hypothesis 1 was tested statistically by t-test analysis. The

results of this analysis are presented in Table 16. Positive results

show that the behavior was more frequent for mothers and negative

results indicate that the behavior was more frequent for fathers. For

the two behaviors indicated in Table 16, the difference between mothers'

and fathers' reading behaviors approached statistical significance.

The two behaviors were commenting, or pointing to the pictures, words

or sentences, or discussing the pictures or words, and encouraging the

child to participate in the story. Mothers tend to emit these behaviors

more frequently than do fathers. However, there is little support for

Hypothesis 1.

Correlates of Parent-Child Reading Behavior

Preschooirs Prfj! .nace on the BSST. Hypothesis 5:

There will be a relationship between preschool
children's performance on the reading readiness
measure and a) mothers' reading behavior, b)
fathers' reading behavior,

The analysis for Hypothesis 5 had numerous variables which could have

been entered into a multiple regression equation, Consequently, correlation

analysis was used to suggest variables for inclusion in a multiple regres-

sion analysis, The correlation data are reported in Table 17. The signifi-

cant variables from the correlation analysis as reported in Table 17

were then used in a multiple regression analysis. The multiple correla-

tion coefficient squared for mothers was R2 = 0.30, a = 0.23 and for










Table 16

Comparison of Mothers' and Fathers' Reading
Behavior Before Treatment Workshopsa



Variable t


Questions with more than one word and/or one
correct answer
Before reading story 0.52
While reading story 1.26
After reading story 1.61

Other questions
Before reading story -0.17
While reading story -0.25
After reading story 1.02

Positive reinforcement with/without explanation
Before reading story 0.46
While reading story -0.03
After reading story 1.31

Parent comments or points to pictures, words or
sentences and discusses pictures or words
Before reading story -1.34
While reading story -0.21
After reading story 1.85*

Parent er.ncurages child to participate in story
DBefrur: leading story -1.00
WhiJe leading story 1.84*
After reading story 1.00

Negative reinforcement with/without explanation
Before reading story -0.37
While reading story -0.04
After reading story 1.68

Parent looks at child, child loods at parent or
parent-child mutual glances 0.68


aN = 37
*.10 < p < .05
-t fathers behavior more frequent
+t mothers behavior more frequent
















Table 17

Correlation of Parents' Reading Behaviors
with Children's Pretest Scorea


Variable Name Mother Father


Questions with more than one word and/or
one correct answer (after reading story) -0.32** 0.35**

Other questions (after reading story) -0.37** -0.48***

Child's response to Other questions
(after reading story) -0.36** -0.31*

Positive reinforcement with/without
explanation (after reading story) -0.35** -0.08

Parent comments or points to pictures,
words, or sentences and discusses
pictures and words (after reading story) -0.33** -0.38**

Negative reinforcement with/without
explanation (after reading story) -0.41*** 0.00

Child's Other responses
While reading story 0.15 -0.33**

Child comments or points to pictures or
words and discusses pictures (after
reading story) -0.33 -0.31*


aN = 37
*.10 < p < .05
**p < .05
***p < .01










fathers it was R2 = 0.50, a = 0.003. The results of multiple regression

analysis for individual variables are shown in Tables 18 for mothers and

19 for fathers. None of the mothers' story book reading behaviors and

only four of the fathers' resulted in a significant F value. The results

indicate that mothers' story book reading behaviors account for 30 percent

of the variance in their children's performance on the Reading Readiness

Subtest. The results seen in Table 18 indicate that there was a negligible

relationship between the way mothers read a story book and their preschoolers'

performance on the Reading Readiness Subtest. However, as may be seen

in Table 19, the number of thought questions asked by fathers after the

story (i.e., questions with more than one possible correct answer or re-

quiring more than one word answer) and children's commenting on or pointing

to pictures or words in the story after its completion had a positive

relationship to reading readiness, In contrast to the above, the number

of factual questions asked by fathers after the story (i.e., any questions

other than thought questions), the number of comments made by fathers

regarding the story or its pictures after the story, and the number of

factual questions answered by children did have a negative relationship

to reading readiness. Through all these behaviors, fathers' story book

reading behaviors accounted for 50 percent of the variance in their

children's reading readiness scores.

Stepwise regression was used to select variables when there were

too many to be used in a single regression equation. The use of a

stepwise regression indicated the importance of two reading behaviors

for mothers and one reading behavior for fathers in predicting readiness,

The results of stepwise regression are shown in Tables 20 and 21. The






Table 18

Children's Pretest Performance as a Function of Mothers' Reading Behaviora


Regression Standard
Variable df Coefficient Error MS F


Intercept 20.44 7.20

Questions with more than one word and/or
one correct answer (after reading story) 1 0.49 4.33 0.32 0.01

Other questions (after reading story) 1 -0.17 2.51 0.12 0.00

Child comments or points to words or
pictures and discusses pictures (after
reading story) 1 -1.07 3.03 3.14 -.12

Child's Other responses (while reading
story) 1 2.82 1.66 71.94 2.86

Child's response to Other questions
(after reading story) 1 -3.57 3.04 34.80 1.38

Positive reinforcement with/without
explanation (after reading story) 1 -0.99 2.51 3.92 0.16

Parent comments or points to words,
sentences or pictures and discusses
pictures or words (after reading story) 1 2.66 2.50 28.68 1.14

Negative reinforcement with/without
explanation (after reading story) 1 -11.76 10.21 33.37 1.33

Error 28 25.16


aN = 37






Table 19

Children's Pretest Performance as a Function of Fathers' Reading Behaviora


Regression Standard
Variable df Coefficient Error MS F


Intercept 10.21 8.54

Questions with more than one word and/or
one correct answer (after reading story) 1 13.00 5.60 93.39 5.40**

Other questions (after reading story) 1 -4.03 1.94 74.36 4.30**

Child comments or points to words or
pictures and discusses pictures (after
reading story) 1 7.18 3.31 81.48 4.71**

Child's response to Other questions
(after reading story) 1 -7.47 5.31 34.30 1.98

Child's Other responses (while reading
story) 1 -0.39 0.93 3.02 0.17

Positive reinforcement with/without
explanation (after reading story) 1 3.36 4.93 8.05 0.47

Parent comments or points to words,
sentences or pictures and discusses
pictures or words (after reading story) 1 -7.99 2.75 145.83 8.44*

Error 29 17.28


= 37
< .05
< .01






Table 20

Children's Pretest Performance as a Function of Mothers' Reading rehaviora


Regression Standard
Variable df Coefficient Error MS F


Negative reinforcement with/without
explanation(while reading story) 1 5.12 2.57 87.81 3.96*

Negative reinforcement with/without
explanation (after reading story) 1 -11.06 3.76 192.00 8.66**

Error 34 22.15


= 37
< .05
< .01






Table 21


Children's Pretest Performance as a Function of Fathers' Reading Behaviora


Regression Standard
Variable df Coefficient Error MS F


Questions with more than one word and/or
one correct answer (after reading story) 1 16.46 4.93 174.65 11.13**

Child's Other responses (before reading
story) 1 3.92 1.46 112.98 7.20*

Child's response to Other questions
(after reading story) 1 -12.11 4.07 138.66 8.84**

Parent comments or points to words,
sentences, or pictures and discusses
pictures or words (after reading story) 1 6.86 1.77 234.05 14.92**

Error 32 15.68


= 37
< .01
< .001










variables are reported as they entered the regression equation. The

results in Table 20 indicate that criticism and disagreement (with or

without corrective feedback) as voiced by mothers had a negative rela-

tionship to their children's reading readiness. The results in Tables

19 and 21 indicate that children's "other responses" after the story had

a negative relationship to their reading readiness (Table 19). In con-

trast, children's "other responses" before the story had a positive

relationship to their reading readiness (Table 21). These two behaviors

occurred when children were reading stories with their fathers. The

multiple correlation coefficient squared for mothers was R2 = 0.28,

a = 0.007 and for fathers it was R2 = 0.51, a = 0.0001. The results

seen in Table 20 indicate that mothers' criticism and disagreement, with

or without corrective feedback during or after reading a story, accounts

for 28 percent of the variance in their children's performance on the

Reading Readiness Subtest. In contrast, fathers' story book reading beha-

viors, seen in Table 21, account for 51 percent of the variance in their

children's reading reedpn--- scores.

Stepwise regression analysis of mothers' and fathers' reading behavior

(i.e., within a family reading behavior) revealed seven significant

reading behaviors for mothers and three reading behaviors for fathers when

reading a story book with their children (See Table 22). The multiple

correlation coefficient squared for mothers and fathers was R2=0.84,a=0.0001.

This result indicates that story book reading behaviors in a family account

for 84 percent of the variance in children's scores on the Reading

Readiness Subtest. The R2 result is inflated by chance because of the

large number of variables used in this analysis. A summary of mothers' and

fathers' reading behavior as an influence on their children's reading

readiness is presented in Table 23.






Table 22

Children's Pretest Performance as a Function of Motherst and Fathers' Reading Behaviora



Regression Standard
Variable df Coefficient Error MS F


Mother


Child's Other responses (while reading
story)

Child's response to Other questions
(before reading story)

Child's response to Other questions
(while reading story)

Child's response to Other quesitons
(after reading story)

Negative reinforcement with/without
explanation (while reading story)

Child comments or points to words or
pictures and discusses them (after
the story)

Parent looks at child or parent-child
mutual glances or child looks at parent


4.92


4.46


-3.33


-6.13


-3.24


1 -1.44


1 -1.60


0.93 174.35 27.95***


1.61 48.00


7.70**


96.63 15.50***


1.08 198.74 31.86***


1.47 30.24



0.62 37.20


4,85**



5.48*


0.57 46.72 7.50**






Table 22 (Continued)


Regression Standard
Variable df Coefficient Error MS F


Father

Questions with more than one word and/or
one correct answer (after reading story) 1 20.81 3.64 204.42 32.77***

Other questions (after reading story) 1 -2.83 0.81 76.81 12.31***

Child's response to Other questions
(before reading story) 1 8.91 2.30 95.56 15.32***

Error 25 6.24


aN = 37
*p < .05
**p < .01
***p < .001






Table 23


Summary of Relationship Between Children's Reading Readiness
and Parent's Behavior Prior to Program Participation


Variable Mothers Fathers Mothers and Fathers


Questions with more than one word and/or
one correct answer (after reading story) + + (F)

Other questions (after reading story) (F)

Child comments or points to words or
pictures and discusses pictures (after
reading story) + (M)

Child's response to Other questions
Before reading story + (M) + (F)
While reading story (M)
After reading story (M)

Child's Other responses
Before reading story +
While reading story -+ (M)


Positive reinforcement with/without
explanation (after reading story) +

Negative reinforcement with/without
explanation
While reading story (M)
After reading story


Parent looks at child or parent-child
mutual glances or child looks at parent (M)


- Negative influences on children's reading readiness M = Mother










Mothers' Reading Behavior. Hypothesis 6:

There will be a relationship between mothers'
reading behavior and a) the education of
mothers, b) the sex of children.

Hypothesis 6 was tested using the multiple regression procedure.

The significant results, for mothers' reading behavior as a function of

their education, are reported in Table 24. As may be seen in Table 24,

the number of thought questions asked before reading a story and the

amount of praise provided by mothers was positively related to their

educational background ,as reflected in the reported adjusted means.

The multiple correlation coefficient for mothers asking thought questions

before reading a story was R2 = 0.14, a = 0.02; for positive reinforce-

ment before reading a story it was R2 = 0.11, a=0.04; for positive

reinforcement while reading a story it was R2 = 0.23, a = 0.003. The

results indicate that mothers' educational background accounts for 14, 11

and 23 percent of the variance in their reading; namely, asking thought

questions before reading a story and praising before and while reading a

story, respectively.

The mothers' reading behavior was also analyzed as a function of

their children's sex. This analysis yielded no significant results.

Fathers' Reading Behavior. Hypothesis 7:

There will be a relationship between fathers'
reading behavior and a) the education of
fathers, b) the sex of children.

Hypothesis 7 was also tested by using the multiple regression

procedure. The relationship between fathers' reading behavior and their

education was analyzed. No significant F values were found for fathers.






Table 24


Mothers' Reading Behavior as a Function of Educationa


Adjusted Means

Baccalaureate Graduate
Variable MS F and below


Question with more than one word and/or
one correct answer (before reading story)
Mother's education 1 0.23 5.43* 1,03 1.28
Error 35 0.04

Positive reinforcement with/without
explanation
Before Reading Story
Mother's education 1 0.42 4.18* 1.06 1.55
Error 35 0.10

While Reading Story
Mother's education 1 2.29 10.01** 1.47 2.28
Error 35 0.23










The fathers' reading behavior was also analyzed as a function of

their children's sex. Only one significant F value was found, F [1,35] =

4.72, p < 0.05. Since there was only one significant result no table

is reported. The result indicated that fathers pose thought questions

to their sons, as reflected in the reported adjusted means (1.32 for

females and 1.77 for males). The multiple correlation coefficient for

fathers' reading behavior as a function of their children's sex was

R2 = 0.12, a=0.03. This result indicates that 12 percent of the varia-

tion in fathers' reading behavior is explained by their children's sex.

In view of the necessity of running a large number of significance

tests for Hypotheses 6 and 7, because of a large number of variables,

the reported results may well have been due to chance.
















CHAPTER V
DISCUSSION


The three major purposes of this study were (1) to compare the

pattern of mother-child and father-child interactions during the reading

of children's books, (2) to compare the story book reading behavior of

parents who have participated in the program workshops to that of parents

who have not participated in the workshops and (3) to examine the

relationship between parents' program participation and their children's

reading readiness. There were four subproblems. The first was to study

the relationship between children's reading test scores and their mothers'

and fathers' educational background, and their mothers' and fathers'

frequency of story book reading at home. The second was to study the

relationship between children's reading test scores and their mothers'

and fathers' readin '1-havior. The third was to study the relationship

between mothers' i-aaing behaviors and (1) their educational background

and (2) the child's sex. The fourth subproblem was to study the relation-

ship between fathers' reading behavior and (1) their educational back-

ground and (2) the child's sex.

Hypothesis I

Differences between father-child and mother-child interactions during

a book reading situation were not significant. The data indicated that

mothers and fathers read similarly. A factor which may have contributed

to the nonsignificant differences between the parents' behavior was the










task involved, which was the same for both mothers and fathers (i.e., the

reading of two story books). In the studies of Osofsky and O'Connell

(1972) and Cunningham (1973), for example, that reported differential

patterns of behavior, the tasks were not the same (i.e., toys and puzzles

for mothers and blocks and different puzzles for fathers).

Another possible reason may be that "traditionally" story book

reading has been considered a social interaction done purely for pleasure

and not for teaching. Following this line of reasoning, it seems, then,

that the fathers' and mothers' behaviors (i.e., social stimulation and

playfulness during story book reading), may therefore be alike. Similar

findings were reported by Clarke-Stewart (1978), who found no difference

between mothers' and fathers' frequency and proportion of social-physical

play with their fifteen-month old infants.

Hypothesis 2

The finding, that program participation changed the mother-child

and father-child reading activities, indicated that the program workshops

had an imp rt -- 'se parents who were trained in the behaviors found

to be effective in reading readiness. In conjunction with the effect of

treatment on reading readiness (See Hypothesis 3) this susgests that it

is possible to teach parents specific teaching/reading behaviors and that

this instruction can affect their children's reading readiness. The find-

ing of effect for program participation on parents' teaching/reading

behavior is important, as it provides further evidence of the ability of

a parent education program to improve the teaching behaviors of parents.

The current findings agree with those of Olmsted, Webb, and Ware (1977),

which show that parents with training read better than parents without

training.










Influences of Program Participation on Father-Child Reading Behavior

Two significant interaction effects between treatment and child's

sex were found for those fathers who participated in the program. The

results indicated that girls did better when their fathers asked factual

questions and praised them after ending a story than did boys in the

experimental group ,and both boys and girls in the control group.

However, the evidence for the interaction effect between treatment

and child's sex for fathers' data is weak. Because of the necessity of

running a large number of significance tests.

The tendency of fathers of daughters to ask more factual questions

than fathers of sons may reflect some sex-role stereotyping even with

children at the preschool level. That is to say, fathers may tend to

relate to their daughters at a lower cognitive level. Specifically,

fathers may not feel the need to test their sons' memory, while feeling

it necessary to test the daughter's memory.

Another significant aspect of father-daughter interaction was the

effect of praise on girls' rldin g -.:,-re. This finding is supported by

the study of Crandall, Dewey, Kathovsky, and Preston (1964). Crandall

and her colleagues found that the academic achievement of girls in grades

two through four was positively correlated with paternal praise for their

intellectual efforts. Along the same line, studies by Baumrind (1971),

and Radin and Epstein (1975) reported a high correlation between paternal

behavior and daughters' cognitive score between ages of four to six.

This finding may imply that fathers of daughters may perceive the role

of father to daughter as more nurturant than the role of father to son.

Fathers' behavior does not have a specific cognitive focus then for their

daughters but rather, acts as an influence of support.









Three main effects were found for those fathers who participated

in the program workshops. The experimental group fathers (1) asked more

thought questions before reading a story, (2) asked more factual questions

while reading a story, (3) commented more on or pointed to more sentences,

words or pictures and discussed more pictures while reading a story book

than the control group fathers.

The results indicated that not only was the program valuable for the

parents but also that it influenced the children's story book reading

behavior. That is, fathers' participation in the program influenced

their children's book reading behavior (1) to become more actively

involved in the story (girls in particular), (2) to answer thought questions

while reading a story, (3) to answer factual questions before reading a

story and (4) to comment on or point to pictures or words in the story

book while reading a story.

Overall, the findings, with respect to fathers' behavior change due

to program participation, marginally exceeded chance result. Several

reasons could be offered, namely (1) that fathers are resistant to

behavior change and (2) that it takes them longer to change their behavior

once initial resistance is overcome.

In contrast, story book reading behaviors of children who read with

their fathers changed significantly due to their fathers' program partici-

pation. These father-child findings imply that the experimental group

fathers read well, and due to their program participation and concerted

effort to apply themselves to story book reading, their children benefited.









Influences of Program Participation on Mother-Child Reading Behavior

Mothers' program participation resulted in mothers' (1) asking

questions (thought and factual, before and while reading a story), (2)

commenting on, or pointing to pictures, words or sentences, or discussing

pictures or words (before and while reading a story) and (3) encouraging

their children to participate in the story more than the control group

mothers did.

Mothers' program participation resulted in more "other responses"

category to questions asked of their children. This item is composed of

child's responses such as "I don't know," "Yes," "No," nonverbal and no

responses. One explanation that may be offered for these results is that

parents who ask questions or make comments, thus interrupting the flow of

the story, or who do not allow their child adequate time to explore ideas

before interrupting their thought processes, will create an environment

in which there is little time to stimulate thinking, thus receiving answers

such as "I don't know," "No," or "Yes." Another explanation may revolve

about parents' attempts to practice those behaviors discussed in the work-

shops, which may have increased parent-child frequency of interaction

during a story book reading setting, consequently increasing occurrence

of answer responses such as "1 don't know," "No," or "Yes."

The results of mothers' behavior change due to program participation

were significant. This finding seems to imply that mothers' behavior,

as affected by program participation, changed more easily than fathers'

behavior. In particular, one behavior that mothers exhibited due to

program participation was encouraging their children to participate

in the story, i.e., through pausing, looking, or through their tone of

voice. While by contrast, girls' spontaneous participation in the story










was associated with their fathers book reading activities. It is reason-

able to believe that girls' spontaneous participation in the story was

because of their fathers increased efforts to read story books at home.

The raised frequency of fathers' book reading is seen through a comparison

of pre and postprogram parental replies to the question "How often do you

read at home with your preschooler?" However, the evidence from signifi-

cant interaction effects for fathers' data is weaK due to the necessity of

running a large number of significance tests.

In summary, it appears that mothers' behaviors are more amenable to

change than fathers'. If one accepts such hypothesis then changes in

mothers' teaching behaviors may appear before changes in child measures

which seem to be the case for the experimental group mothers whose

behavior changes were significant and their children whose behavior changes

were minimal.

Overall, the treatment appears to have affected both mothers' and

fathers' reading behavior. However, the evidence is unclear about whether

mothers ,cr: affected d more than fathers. The data also suggests that the

treatment affects the child's reading behavior. There is stronger evidence

for the effect on the child while reading with the father, than for the

effect on the child while reading with the mother.

Hypothesis 3

The effect of parental program participation on the children's

reading achievement was significant. The experimental group children

scored higher than the control group children on items pertaining to

word discrimination, ability to draw inferences, and ability to recall

factual content. Apparently, parents' workshop participation and their




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