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Cultural capital theory: A study of children enrolled in rural and urban Head Start programmes


Children from different backgrounds have disparate access to cultural capital, which may influence their academic success. The purpose of this study was to examine the links between family background, home literacy experiences, and emergent literacy skills among preschoolers enrolled in Head Start programmes. The background characteristics studied included urbanicity, maternal education, ethnicity, and family size among 112 preschool children (59 rural and 53 urban, M [mean] age = 56.78 months). Findings showed that rural and urban preschoolers may have similar literacy abilities. However, when maternal education was controlled for, family background variables and components of the home literacy environment predicted emergent literacy skills differently for the two groups. Moreover, mother's active involvement and the child's own engagement in literacy seemed to play a salient role in early literacy development across groups. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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