Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

12-2002

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Russell O. Mays

Committee Members

Nancy Dishner, Norma MacRae, Russell F. West

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between home environment and school readiness of children entering kindergarten in a rural East Tennessee county. Family and home environment variables included family income, family structure, parents' education, participation in literacy activities, availability of home learning tools, and amount of children's television viewing. A self-reported parent survey was used to gather information about the family environment; the Brigance K Screen was used to determine entering kindergartner's readiness for school. Three hundred and thirty eight children and parents participated.

An initial analysis of data incorporated simple descriptive statistics in the form of frequency tables. To examine the relationships between the dependent variable (Brigance scores) and independent variables (family characteristics/environment), Kendall's tau-b and Cramer's V were used. Independent sample t-tests and analyses of variance (ANOVAs) analyzed differences in Brigance scores between groups. Finally, a hierarchical multiple regression analysis determined if kindergarten readiness could be predicted by specific variables: socioeconomic status, literary resources, and literacy activities.

The analysis of relationships in this study indicated that family income was more closely related to success on the Brigance K Screen than any other variable; next in importance were the levels of fathers' education and mothers' education. Significant positive correlations also indicated the value of parents reading to their children, educational outings, availability of educational tools--specifically, a home computer, family structure, mealtime conversation, and the number of children's books in the home. A significant negative correlation was found between the duration of television viewing and Brigance scores; increased television viewing time was significantly related to lower test scores. ANOVAs and t-tests indicated significant differences in total Brigance scores of prekindergarten students from different socioeconomic status groups based on family structure, family income, and parents' education levels. Children from two-parent homes scored significantly higher than those from other family situations as did children from higher income homes. In addition, parents' education level was reflected in the Brigance scores; more educated parents had children who scored higher than children with less educated parents. The multiple regression analysis reinforced the statistical significance and magnitude of the relationship between socioeconomic factors and school readiness, but literacy resources and literacy activities also accounted for variance in the scores.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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