Parents' ideas about literacy and their attributions for children's reading difficulties

Fox, Maureen
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University of Guelph

Parents' views about literacy in Canadian society, the importance of literacy in comparison to other skill domains, and the home role in literacy acquisition were examined. Possible associations between parents' views and children's early reading skills were also explored. Additionally, parents' attributions for reading failure were reviewed. As expected, parents generally displayed high degrees of concern about literacy in Canada, particularly in young people. They also rated literacy very highly and almost equal in importance to moral development. Although parents believed that the home was an important influence in literacy acquisition, most parents believed that school, not home, has the primary responsibility for the development of literacy. Parents' perceptions about literacy levels in young Canadians were modestly related to their children's scores on a grade one reading measure. When the possibility of child-oriented attributions was minimized, parents tended to seek explanations for children's reading difficulty in the school system. Findings support the usefulness of exploring parents' ideas in a social context.

parents, views, literacy, Canadian society, home role, literacy acquisition, children, reading skills