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Head Start children's literacy experiences and outcomes: Associations with mothers' beliefs and behaviors

Purdue University
Publication Date
  • Education
  • Early Childhood|Psychology
  • Developmental|Sociology
  • Individual And Family Studies


The goal of this study was to examine how mothers' beliefs about children's active involvement in joint book reading, mothers' perceptions of children's readiness to learn reading, and mothers' parenting self-efficacy were related to the quality of joint book reading, the quantity of children's home learning activities, and children's early literacy competence. The research investigated ways in which maternal perceptions of readiness and parenting self-efficacy may moderate the strategies that mothers use to engage children during joint book reading interactions. The participants in this study were 62 Head Start mothers and their preschool children (33 boys and 29 girls). Results indicated mothers' beliefs predicted joint book reading strategies. Mothers' perceptions of children's readiness moderated the relationship between mothers' beliefs and joint book reading strategies. The frequency of home literacy activities with children, but not mothers' joint book reading strategies, was related to children's literacy competence. The frequency of home learning activities was positively related to children's receptive vocabulary and alphabet knowledge. The findings have implications for future research on perceptions of child readiness to learn the beginnings of reading. ^

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