Date of Award:

5-2008

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Ann M. Berghout Austin

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to extend the research on children’s early literacy development by examining the practice of daily family rituals. The assumption was that the predictability and affective meaning that rituals provide would create an environment that fosters the development of literacy skills and motivation to learn. Measures included the PALS Prek, PPVT-III, and Family Ritual Questionnaire. Although there were no significant positive relationships between regular family rituals such as dinnertime and reading aloud practices and literacy outcomes, negative correlations were found between the assignment of roles on weekends, the routine of vacations, mother’s work hours, and children’s literacy scores. These findings may indicate some inflexibility among family members and not enough time spent in a variety of spontaneous literacy-building activities.

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