Date of Award:

12-2008

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Lori A Roggman

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Mark S Innocenti, Ann M. B. Austin, Maria C Norton, Lisa K Boyce

Abstract

The number of Latino families in the United States is increasing dramatically. For some of the children in these families, the acquisition of reading skills is hampered by inadequate early language development. Early language development is a key predictor of reading success. Identifying ways in which parents in these families can help children acquire early language skills will better prepare them for acquiring reading skills. This study used a new parenting measure, PICCOLO, to identify parenting behaviors that are related to children's language development. The primary focus of this project was on Spanish-speaking Latino families, but a group of English-speaking European-American families was used as a contrast group. Parenting behaviors, parenting differences between cultures, and relations between PICCOLO data and children's language outcomes were explored. Results indicated that there were fewer correlations between parenting behaviors of Latino parents and children's language than there were between European American parents and children's behavior. Behaviors that were related to children's language for Latino families were combined into a factor that significantly predicted children's language. The behaviors that made up this factor seemed to be from an aspect of parenting that could be described as "hands-off responsiveness."

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