Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PhD)


Center for Psychological Studies

First Advisor

Sarah Valley-Gray

Second Advisor

Eugene Cash

Third Advisor

Edward R Simco


children, early literacy, emergent literacy, intervention, preschool, social emotional


The present study explored the efficacy of a parent implemented emergent literacy intervention to promote reading readiness and to improve parent-child relationships among preschoolers and their caregivers. Subjects were 24 parents and their preschool children ranging in age from three to five years who attend preschool at the Mailman-Segal Institute (MSI) for Early Childhood Studies. An assessment of the students' pre -literacy skills was conducted and teacher and parent rating scales that measured social- emotional and behavioral functioning were collected. Parents were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Parents assigned to the experimental group learned to implement activities from the Parents Activate Literacy Skills (PALS) curriculum in their daily routine to promote pre-literacy skills. Parents assigned to the control group learned to implement parenting techniques to promote improved parent-child interactions in an adapted version of Russell Barkley's Parent Training Program. Adherence to interventions was monitored by parents' self-report, and fidelity of implementation was assessed throughout the research by trained observers. The proposed study seeks to understand better the skills required for early literacy acquisition among preschoolers. The children were assessed pre and post-intervention using selected subtests of the Woodcock-Johnson III Achievement Battery and the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities. Parents were asked to complete behavior rating scales and a measure of parenting stress, while teachers were asked to complete behavior rating scales prior to and post-intervention. One-way (treatment versus control) analyses of covariance were used to test for differences between groups. Results from the analyses revealed that children in the Literacy Intervention group performed significantly better than children in the Behavior Management group on Oral Comprehension, Sound Blending, and Phonemic Awareness subtests of the Woodcock-Johnson. Additionally, parents in the emergent literacy intervention showed a significant decrease on the parent-child dysfunctional interaction scale of the Parenting Stress Index (PSI)-Short Form.

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