Developing Learning Skills of Children

            Parental Influence on the Developing Learning Skills of Children.


             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.

             II) Overview of Three Studies.

             (a) Home Literacy Activities and Their Influence on Early Literacy Skills.

             i) Research Summary.

             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. .

             ii) Methods and Outcomes.

             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.

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