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Order in the House! Associations among Household Chaos, the Home Literacy Environment, Maternal Reading Ability, and Children’s Early Reading

From: Merrill-Palmer Quarterly
Volume 54, Number 4, October 2008
pp. 445-472 | 10.1353/mpq.0.0009

Abstract

Abstract:

The current study examines whether associations exist between household chaos and children’s early reading skills, after controlling for a comprehensive battery of home literacy environment characteristics. Our sample included 455 kindergarten and first-grade children who are enrolled in the Western Reserve Reading Project. We go on to test whether these associations are moderated by maternal reading ability. Results suggest that the degree of household order is significantly and positively associated with the expressive vocabulary, Woodcock Reading Mastery, and phonological awareness skills of children whose mothers are above-average readers. By contrast, the number of books a child owns or brings home and how often a child amuses self alone with books are significantly associated with the expressive vocabulary, Woodcock Reading Mastery, and phonological awareness skills of children whose mothers are average-ability readers. These results suggest the potential for new approaches to encouraging literacy development in the home beyond those that depend solely on parental literacy.



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