Parental factors which influence reading development in preschool children in Puerto Rico

Awilda Rivera-Bermudez, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to identify the preschool home environment factors which influenced reading development in 32 kindergarten children in District 5, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. The study was conducted with parents of kindergarten children who were just beginning kindergarten and who had not had formal reading instruction before entering kindergarten. Four factors were studied: articles in the home environment and frequency of their use, parental strategies that promoted reading development, parent-child interactions that promoted reading development, and socioeconomic level of the family. The parents responded to 113 questions relating to the four factors. A kindergarten test was used by the teachers to insure that parents of both high achievers and low achievers participated. The data were analyzed using frequency distributions. These were used to determine which items were used the most and their frequency of use. The results of this investigation indicated that the parents had a variety of reading-related articles in the home and that they used these articles as well as the reading-related strategies and interactions a lot. However, parents do not use a great variety of articles and they do not use strategies and interactions routinely. Prior research has indicated that a literacy-rich home environment, together with appropriate parental strategies, will promote reading development in preschool children. The quality of interactions between parents and their children will also promote reading development and children will thereby be more successful in school. In this study, we found that the parents did provide these conditions but in a limited fashion. The limitations correspond to the low socioeconomic level of the families. It is recommended that the Department of Education provide what the parents are not able to give their children. Parents were not able to take their children to libraries because there are very few libraries in the metropolitan area, and they did not take their children to bookstores since the cost of books is high. Parents also did not have formal knowledge of the importance of preschool reading for literacy. They also did not understand their critical role in the process or what modeling activities, reading strategies, and parent-child interaction would make successful readers. It is recommended that ethnographic studies be done in order to supply fuller information as to the details of the strategies, interactions, and articles in the home.

Subject Area

Preschool education|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Rivera-Bermudez, Awilda, "Parental factors which influence reading development in preschool children in Puerto Rico" (1996). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9638369.