Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Shelley L. K. Lindauer


Shelley L. K. Lindauer


Jay D. Schvaneveldt


Farrell J. Black


Barbara M. Hales


Participants for this study were 56 four-year-old children and their parents. All children were enrolled or on a waiting list to be enrolled in a preschool program in the Cache Valley area. A parent questionnaire and environmental assessment were utilized to determine whether a) the physical environment, b) behaviors of parents, and c) birth order of children is related to development of print awareness as measured by a print awareness test.

A variety of statistical analyses was used to explore relationships among the above variables. Major findings suggest that the behaviors that reflect parents' attitudes regarding literacy are most important in the development of their children's print awareness. Fathers' use of the library and mothers' education are significantly related to their children's performance on the print Awareness Test. The amount of time that children spend watching videos is also significantly correlated to their print Awareness Test scores. Significant differences were found in what mothers and fathers do to prepare their children for reading, with mothers taking a more active role in reading to the children and teaching them literacy skills.

Other notable findings suggest that the reading pleasure of each parent is important to their children's enjoyment in being read to and to creating positive feelings about reading. Parents tend to predict that their children will learn to read at about the same ages as they themselves learned to read.