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The relationship between home literacy experiences and preschool emergent writing skills

Estabrook, Erin (2013) The relationship between home literacy experiences and preschool emergent writing skills. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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A substantial body of research documents that children’s home literacy environment plays an important role in the development of oral language and emergent reading skills (Dickinson & DeTemple, 1998; Foy & Mann, 2003; Frijters, Barron, & Brunello, 2000; Hood, Conlon, & Andrews, 2008; Payne, Whitehurst, & Angell, 1994; Roberts, Jurgens, & Burchinal, 2005; Senechal & LeFevre, 2002; Senechal, LeFevre, Thomas, & Daley, 1998) However, few researchers have investigated the relationship between home literacy environment and the development of writing skills, which are crucial to academic success. The goal of this study is to examine the relationship between home literacy experiences and emergent writing in preschool children.

Home literacy surveys from 231 families were analyzed. Based on extant research, home literacy experiences were categorized as independent, shared, and casual. Emergent writing skills were measured by performance on letter writing, name writing, and spelling tasks. Data were analyzed using Spearman’s Rho correlations and multi-variate regression. Post-hoc descriptive analysis of independent activities was also performed.

Results of the correlational analysis indicated that there was a significant positive correlation between independent home literacy activities and all emergent writing tasks. Shared and casual HLE were significantly correlated with letter writing and spelling scores. The regression analysis also showed that independent HLE accounted for a significant additional amount of the variance on two of the three emergent writing tasks (2.6% for letter writing, and 3.5% for name writing) after accounting for control variables. Shared and casual HLE did not contribute a significant amount of the variance for any of the writing outcomes. Control variables, including cognitive abilities and maternal level of education contributed a significant proportion to the variance to all three writing tasks (20.2% for letter writing, 30.5% for name writing, and 17.1% for spelling). The findings of the current study suggest that home experiences play an important role in the development of writing skills. Whereas parental involvement is necessary, it appears that the encouragement of independent practice is particularly important for writing.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Estabrook, Erin
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPuranik, Cynthiacpuranik@pitt.eduCPURANIK
Committee MemberYaruss, J. Scottjsyaruss@pitt.eduJSYARUSS
Committee MemberCrawford, Patricia pcrawfor@pitt.eduPCRAWFOR
Date: 24 May 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 March 2013
Approval Date: 24 May 2013
Submission Date: 5 April 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 73
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Communication Science and Disorders
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: preschool, writing, home literacy experiences, home literacy enviornment, literacy, emergent literacy, letter writing, name writing, spelling, HLE, emergent writing
Date Deposited: 24 May 2013 14:27
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:11


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