Effects of fathers’ and mothers’ expectations and home literacy involvement on their children's cognitive–linguistic skills, vocabulary, and word reading

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Abstract

Drawing on the theory underlying the home literacy model (HLM), we examined the relationships among distinct aspects of the home literacy environment (HLE), a wide range of cognitive–linguistic skills, and Chinese language and literacy skills in this study. A total of 354 Chinese children (mean age: 60.37 ± 7.25 months; 186 boys, 52.5%) from 6 Hong Kong kindergartens, as well as their fathers and mothers, were enrolled. The mothers and fathers were invited to independently complete a questionnaire inquiring into the formal and informal HLE, parental expectations, children's access to literacy resources, and family socioeconomic status (SES). Children were assessed on a set of cognitive–linguistic skills (executive functioning, phonological awareness, RAN, and orthographic awareness), receptive vocabulary, and word reading ability. The results revealed that the mothers reported more frequent engagement in the formal and informal HLE than the fathers, but both mothers and fathers held equally high expectations for their child's reading achievement. Moreover, family SES emerged as a robust predictor of children's cognitive–linguistic skills, which in turn contributed to vocabulary and word reading. Although the maternal formal and informal HLE was not of notable importance to Chinese language and literacy skill acquisition, the paternal formal HLE exerted a unique effect on vocabulary and word reading through RAN. These findings extend HLM knowledge pertaining to the Chinese orthography and highlight the independent roles of fathers and mothers in promoting children's language and literacy development. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Volume60
Early online date16 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Citation

Liu, C., & Chung, K. K. H. (2022). Effects of fathers’ and mothers’ expectations and home literacy involvement on their children's cognitive–linguistic skills, vocabulary, and word reading. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 60, 1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2021.12.009

Keywords

  • Father–child
  • Mother–child
  • Home literacy environment
  • Vocabulary
  • Word reading

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