Date of Award:

2005

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Lori A. Roggman

Abstract

Conventional literacy is important for academic and life success. Emergent literacy is a precursor to conventional literacy, and parent-child book read ing experiences can foster emergent literacy development. Fathers are important figures in children's development and may make important contributions to their emergent literacy development.

This study observed 179 fathers from families who participated in research evaluating the Bear River Early Head Start program. Father-child book reading was videotaped as part of a 10-minute observation session in each child 's home at 14 months, 24 months, 36 months, and pre- kindergarten (age 4 or 5). Book reading observation sessions were coded based on parental strategies (i.e. language and behaviors) used during book reading. Pre-kindergarten observation sessions were transcribed for a measure of children's oral language. Children were tested in their homes at prekindergarten with measures of phonological processing, receptive vocabulary, and concepts of print. Regression analyses investigated the individual impact of book reading strategies on outcomes and the impact of strategies over time (cumulative). Findings revealed certain individual strategies had more impact than cumulative strategies, which was contrary to the hypotheses. The most positive cumulative impact was time spent during book reading. Overall, receptive vocabulary was the emergent literacy domain most strongly predicted by father book read ing strategies, and cumulative time spent book reading was the strategy that predicted emergent literacy outcomes most consistently.