Methods: This study utilized data from Project KIDS to conduct secondary data analysis. The data for Project KIDs was collected in two waves. The first wave combined data from eight randomized control trials and one follow-up study regarding reading interventions responsiveness. Phase two of the project sent out surveys to participants, requesting information about home and community environments, parental attitudes, and health factors regarding reading. Utilizing the survey data from phase II, a hierarchical regression model was used to examine the associations between individual and shared parental reading behaviors with children’s independent reading when controlling for demographics.
Results: The results of the hierarchical multiple regression model showed a statistically significant model after controlling for demographics and shared reading behaviors between parents (F(12,116)=16.07, FΔ=1.86, r2Δ=0.11), explaining an additional 11% of the variance for a total of 46% of the variance explained(r2=0.46). Additionally, there was a statistically significant difference between the adult respondents who disliked reading and respondents who strongly liked reading (b=-7.00, t=2.90, p=0.04). Furthermore, there was also a statistically significant difference between the respondent’s perception of the other caregiver in the home’s reading enjoyment. Respondents who reported the other adult caregiver in the home strongly disliked reading showed a -3.75 point difference in the child’s reading interest subscale score (t=2.61, p=0.01). Shared book reading frequency (p=0.01) and number of books in the home (p<0.01) were statistically significant in the final model. There was no statistically significant difference in the frequency of independent reading behaviors of adults.
Conclusions: Results point to the importance of adult caregiver attitudes towards reading and the importance of shared book reading and modeling for children. Caregiver attitudes towards reading could hinder or support developing children’s interest in reading and may offer an alternative screening item when examining children’s language development. Social workers collaborating with families and caregivers of children should consider integrating educational resources on the importance shared book reading, positive reading attitudes, and supportive home literacy environments. Finally, future research should explore why there is such variation in adult reading enjoyment and attitudes in addition to screening for adult literacy difficulties.