Title: The effects of early home literacy environments on fourth-grade literacy achievement: an international comparison

Authors: Diana J. Arya; Nicola A. McClung; Andrew Maul; Anne E. Cunningham

Addresses: School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder Education 124, 249 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309, USA ' University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1071, USA ' School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder Education 124, 249 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309, USA ' Graduate School of Education, University of California, 4511 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

Abstract: It is well known that the home environment is a major factor in a child's literacy development. Exactly how different home-environmental factors play out across different national contexts is not as well understood. Using data from the 2011 Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study (PIRLS), we tested for structural invariance in the relationship between early childhood home literacy practices and later fourth-grade achievement among students across 52 countries or regions within countries (N = 106,297-109,582), while controlling for background characteristics. Findings indicate that the effect of many aspects of the home environment prior to school age, including adult-child interactions and parental values and beliefs about reading, may interact with national factors, particularly factors relating to government-subsidised preschool programmes. Implications include that any early home reading intervention efforts should include thoughtful consideration of the national policies and funding for preschool learning.

Keywords: PIRLS; early home literacy; fourth grade literacy; home environment; education; fourth grade reading comprehension; international tests; national invariance; structural invariance; quantitative research; survey research; regression analysis; child literacy; children; adult-child interactions; parental values; government subsidies; reading intervention; preschool learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJQRE.2014.060971

International Journal of Quantitative Research in Education, 2014 Vol.2 No.1, pp.1 - 16

Received: 02 Jan 2013
Accepted: 17 Jun 2013

Published online: 02 Jul 2014 *

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