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Through the years many psychologists have been interested in the effects that parents have on their children's learning abilities. Several studies have been done and many have found that parents do indeed positively affect their children's cognitive abilities. Many of these studies have only found correlations, however, and not causation. This paper summarizes three of these studies and analyzes them to determine some possibilities for the psychology of parental influence.
(a) Home Literacy Activities and Their Influence on Early Literacy Skills
This study conducted by Evans, Shaw and Bell is the first of three that explores how home learning activities influence a child's ability to learn in a more formal setting. This particular experiment was performed because the researchers were not satisfied with the lack of conciseness in previous studies. This study partials out socio-economic status and uses more standardized measures than previous studies when attempting to determine home activity influence children's reading skill acquisition.
A total of 66 children from mixed socioeconomic backgrounds were used for this study. One parent was used for every child. There were three tests that were administered to collect data. The first test was the initial demographic questionnaire. This test was concerned with family composition, income, parent's education, languages spoken, general home environment and any special needs the child has. The Literacy Practices Questionnaire was a tape recorded test of oral questions asked of the parent. These questions were both open and closed ended. The queries concerned how much time in a week the parent read with the child, age when parent first read to child and age when parent read to the child on a regular basis, who else reads to the child and who initiates book reading. The next test is the Children's Book Title List. On this there are 36 children's book titles and 20 foils. The test required that the parents indicate which title were the real books. There was a cacophony of tests that measured the children's cognitive abilities. These measured general intelligence, phonological and language understanding, letter knowledge, and literacy skill. First, "the frequency of being read to was correlated with children's vocabulary scores, age of first being read to, and age of being regularly read to... (Evans, Shaw, Bell)." However, it was not a predictor or rapid automatized naming speed and visual perception/nonverbal reasoning. Parental reports of the frequency of activities at home dealing with letters (letter names, sounds, printing letters, etc...) predicted future knowledge of letter names, sounds, and phonological sensitivity after controlling for the child age, level of parental education and child's cognitive abilities. The frequency of book reading at home influenced the child's development of vocabulary. Also, teaching the alphabetical knowledge influenced reading and writing. The researchers stress that there were very few disadvantaged families in this study and that most of the parents were likely to have been interested in reading to have participated in this study which required a substantial time investment.
(b) Parental influences on Chinese literacy development: A comparison of preschoolers in Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore
This study conducted by Li and Rao began with three predictions for their findings about Chinese literacy in the societies of Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore. First, they anticipated finding age differences in Chinese literacy, with the older children surpassing the younger ones. Second, they predicted societal differences in Chinese literacy development, with children in Hong Kong exceeding those from Beijing and Singapore on the Preschool and Primary Chinese Literacy Scale (PPCLS). This would reflect differences in educational policy on pr
Technology mentioned in this term paper
Names referenced in this report
a predictor, Bell, Shaw, Li, Rao,
Organizations included in this research paper
PPCLS, PACR, Cooperative Pre-School Inventory,
Locations mentioned in this research paper
Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore, Dominican Republic,
Keywords referenced in this research paper
parent, parental, literacy, Hong Kong, parental involvement, cognitive abilities, school, skills, age groups, positive reinforcement, child development, Child Rearing, parent involvement, Early Literacy, foster parent, Beijing, literacy education, 36 children, Singapore, longitudinal study, societies, first test, Exemplar, Chinese characters, Outcomes, socio economic status, higher level, critical factor, primary caregiver, questionnaire, middle class, special needs, more time, Dominican Republic, motor development, one form, theory, emotional, information, Information System, appetitive, correlations, Summary, research, questions, phonological, prediction, paper, generalize, organism,