Intergenerational transmission of literacy skills among Filipino families

Katrina M. DULAY, Sum Kwing CHEUNG, Catherine MCBRIDE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the joint role of parental word reading skills and conventional home literacy environment measures among 320 Filipino low‐ to middle‐income families in Cebu City, Philippines with children aged 5–8 years old. A ranking of parent‐reported ratings of their frequency of engaging in home literacy activities and adult literacy practices revealed that book‐related behaviors were less frequently practiced relative to other behaviors, and mean ratings on the home literacy resources scale suggested a relatively print‐poor environment. Nevertheless, scale items about book reading and direct literacy instruction at home correlated with child's language and literacy skills. Structural equation modeling showed that parent's education and frequency of engaging in home literacy activities uniquely accounted for variance in child's oral language and print knowledge skills. In a second model, parent's word reading skills were significantly related to child's skills, but did not eliminate or attenuate influences from parent's education and home literacy activities. Results are important in relation to theories on the intergenerational transmission of literacy skills and the generalizability of findings from developed countries to developing country contexts. Copyright © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12859
JournalDevelopmental Science
Issue number5
Early online date31 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


Dulay, K. M., Cheung, S. K., & McBride, C. (2019). Intergenerational transmission of literacy skills among Filipino families. Developmental Science, 22(5). Retrieved from


  • Early literacy
  • Gene environment
  • Home literacy environment
  • Oral language
  • Philippines
  • Word reading


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