Differential Contributions of Three Parenting Dimensions to Preschool Literacy and Social Skills in a Middle-Income Sample

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Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, ISSN: 0272-930X, Vol: 58, Issue: 2, Page: 4

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Hindman, Annemarie H.; Morrison, Frederick J.
article description
This study investigated parenting practices among families of preschoolers in a middle-income community, as well as the contributions of these practices to children's literacy and learning-related social skills. A total of 229 families of preschoolers were recruited. Parents completed a survey describing their parenting practices, while children's literacy skills were directly assessed by using standardized measures. Parents also reported on children's social development. Factor analyses supported a three-dimensional structure of parenting including the home learning environment, autonomy support/expectations, and management/discipline. Path models showed that the home learning environment predicted literacy skills; specifically, parents' teaching about letters and sounds was associated with alphabet knowledge, while shared book reading was marginally linked to vocabulary. Management/discipline was uniquely related to self-regulation, while cooperative/compliant skills were associated with the home learning environment, support/expectations, and management/discipline. Findings suggested that parenting could be conceptualized as three relatively independent dimensions, each of which demonstrated domain-specific contributions to early literacy and social skills.