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Quantity and quality of early reading (O’Fallon et al., 2022)

posted on 2022-08-31, 23:02 authored by Maura K. O’Fallon, Rebecca M. Alper, Molly Beiting, Rufan Luo

Purpose: Quantity and quality of early at-home reading shape literacy outcomes. At-home reading frequency is a common outcome measure in interventions. This single measure may not fully capture the quality of early reading interactions, such as parent and child references to print, an important contributor to language and literacy outcomes. This study aims to evaluate if and how reported reading frequency and duration are associated with parent and child print referencing, controlling for perceived parenting self-efficacy, developmental knowledge, and child sex.

Method: This study is a secondary analysis of baseline data from a treatment study with parents (N = 30) and children (1;1–2;3 [years;months]) from underresourced households. Parents reported weekly reading episode frequency and duration (in minutes). We coded parent–child book-sharing interactions to quantify use of print references.

Results: Negative binomial regression modeling suggested that parents who reported more weekly reading episodes tended to use more print references during interactions. However, reported reading time in minutes was not significantly associated with parents’ print referencing. Parents’ print references were also associated with perceived self-efficacy, developmental knowledge, and child sex. In our sample, parents used more print references with male children. Neither reading frequency nor reading time was associated with increased print referencing from children.

Conclusions: Duration of reading did not positively predict children’s use of print references. However, weekly reading frequency positively predicted parents’ use of print references. Parent perceived self-efficacy and knowledge may predict early interaction quality similarly to quantity of reading.

Supplemental Material S1. Correlation tables for all independent, dependent, and demographic variables.

Supplemental Material S2. Observed print references and total time coded, by dyad. 

O'Fallon, M. K., Alper, R. M., Beiting, M., & Luo, R. (2022). Assessing shared reading in families at risk: Does quantity predict quality? American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.


This research was supported by grants from the William Penn Foundation and Bezos Family Foundation, which included salary and research support (awarded to Rebecca M. Alper and Rufan Luo). The data analyzed for this study were collected as part of research supported by the William Penn Foundation (45-15; Hirsh-Pasek, PI) and Bezos Family Foundation (Hirsh-Pasek, PI).