An investigation of preschool children's primary literacy skills
he purpose of this study was to determine if age and/or gender differences in the performances of typically developing preschool children on a measure of primary literacy skills (phonological awareness and alphabetic knowledge) were significant. A second purpose was to ascertain which primary literacy skills can be completed most successfully at specific age intervals. An additional purpose was to determine which predictor variables accounted for significant variance in performance on the primary literacy skills measure. Participants for this study were 91 typically developing preschool children ranging in age from 3 years 0 months to 5 years 11 months. Primary literacy skills, print concepts, and receptive vocabulary were assessed. Information about home literacy experiences were obtained by caregiver questionnaire. Differences in performance of primary literacy skills (measuring both phonological awareness and alphabetic knowledge) were significant for age but not for gender, with older children performing better than younger children. Differences in performance on phonological awareness tasks were also significant for age but not for gender. Differences in performance on alphabetic knowledge tasks were significant for age and also for gender, with girls outperforming boys. Primary literacy tasks completed most successfully by children at each of six 6-month age intervals were identified, with rhyme detection the only task that was completed successfully at all age levels. Results of a stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated that out of seven predictor variables (age, gender, receptive vocabulary, print concept skills, mother's education level, father's education level, and/or home literacy experiences), print concept skills accounted for the greatest amount of variance in children's performance on primary literacy tasks. Father's education level, receptive vocabulary, and age accounted for a small but significant additional variance.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Includes bibliographic references (leaves 61-78)