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The role of parent-child relationship in children’s emergent literacy in Hong Kong

NGAI, CHUN (2015) The role of parent-child relationship in children’s emergent literacy in Hong Kong. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The burgeoning research literature has shown that family variables are important in contributing to children’s emergent literacy development. However, no compelling picture about the underlying mechanism and inconsistent findings about the extent of impact have emerged from the existing literature. In this present study, I address this knowledge gap by focusing on three related issues in order to unravel theoretical interplay among the structural components and hence the underlying mechanism of the developmental process of children’s emergent literacy.

I propose a theoretical framework of hypothetical mediation structure for empirical testing. It posits that parent-child relationship quality (PCRQ) affects indirectly children’s emergent literacy development through an intervening process captured by home literacy environment. Using systematic random sampling of a population, a total of 432 biological parent-child dyads (M=48 months; SD=2) from 19 international kindergartens across Hong Kong participated in this research study. Structural equation modeling with LISREL 8.80 was employed for evaluating the structural models. Results demonstrated that differential effects of different facets of home literacy environment on different domains of children’s emergent literacy were robust. The hypotheses with home literacy resource as mediator were rejected. Although the results supported the hypotheses that two components of parent-child literacy interaction significantly mediated the relations between parent-child relationship quality and children’s emergent literacy, the specific indirect effects were small and negative. By translating the present findings and integrating them with the insights from decades of rigorous science of child development, in particular, drawing on the recent advances in the field of developmental neuroscience, I develop a PCRQ Commitment Model to provide parents, policymakers and society with a more integrated picture about the total family process for optimization of child developmental outcomes in all aspects of child functioning and well-being including the development of children’s emergent literacy beginning in the earliest years of life.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Keywords:parent-child relationship, home literacy environment, home literacy resource, parent-child literacy interaction, children’s emergent literacy, PCRQ Commitment Model
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:10 Apr 2015 10:35

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