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Latino maternal literacy beliefs and practices mediating socioeconomic status and maternal education effects in predicting child receptive vocabulary

Research Findings: This study investigated the association between Mexican American maternal education and socioeconomic status (SES) and child vocabulary as mediated by parental reading beliefs, home literacy environment (HLE), and parent-child shared reading frequency. As part of a larger study, maternal reports of education level, SES, HLE, and reading beliefs along with child expressive and receptive vocabulary were collected for 252 mothers and their preschool children from 2 demographically similar school districts in 1 county. Correlations were moderate and positive, with higher levels of maternal education related to family income, HLE, book availability, and children's expressive and receptive vocabulary. Consistent with long-standing evidence, maternal education and SES were predictors of children's vocabulary, albeit indirectly through maternal reading beliefs, HLE, and reading frequency. Practice or Policy: Findings extend current knowledge about specific pathways through which social class variables impact children's language. Policy implications, directions for future research, and study limitations are noted. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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