THE CONTRIBUTION OF SELECTED HOME ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS TO THE READING ACHIEVEMENT OF SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN

CAROL SUE LEE, Fordham University

Abstract

Five home environmental variables were studied in relation to the reading achievement of 27 average readers and 27 superior readers. Parents of second, third, and fourth grade children, who attend four schools in a suburban school district, were interviewed in their homes to gather information on language interaction in the home; parental assistance with reading skills; parental modeling of reading behaviors; parental structuring of time, materials, and experiences; and parental involvement in school related issues. The two groups of readers, who were drawn from predominantly white, middle class families, were matched on school, grade, and IQ.^ The data collected from the Home Environmental Process Interview Schedule were subjected to a factor analysis which revealed five factors similar to the factors proposed. The factor scores were then analyzed by a discriminant function analysis which revealed significant differences between the groups on Modeling, Language Interaction, Structuring, and Parental Assistance. The amount of Parental Involvement in school issues did not differentiate the groups, although the nature of parental involvement varied within the sample.^ Modeling (which contributed most to the difference between the groups) Language Interaction, and Structuring had a positive relationship to reading achievement. Parents of superior readers read more themselves, provided more books and other reading materials, and engaged in more educational and language activities with their children. Superior readers were more likely to talk in depth about their concerns, to read more in their leisure time, and to watch less TV than average readers.^ Parental Assistance was inversely related to reading achievement, with average readers receiving more assistance than superior readers. Average readers may have been in greater need of assistance and may have asked for help more often from parents. Another explanation of this result is that the reading relationship between average readers and their parents was characterized by fewer positive experiences related to reading and more pressure to develop reading skills. These children may have viewed reading as a chore for which there was little reward.^ Implications of the results for understanding the reading process and for early childhood education were discussed. Recommendations for future research are offered. ^

Subject Area

Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

LEE, CAROL SUE, "THE CONTRIBUTION OF SELECTED HOME ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS TO THE READING ACHIEVEMENT OF SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8423125.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8423125

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