Parent-Child Reading in Hispanic Immigrant Families: Effects on Children's Reading Achievement
Morrison, Donna R.
Existing evidence suggests that children whose parents read to them from an early age perform significantly better on reading tests than children whose parents do not. However, little research has been done to examine the differential effects of parent-child reading based on Hispanicity and immigrant status, two important factors that are correlated with disadvantage in the classroom and in society as a whole. This paper aims to fill in this gap, using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99. Using ordinary least squares regression, I examine the effects of parental reading practices on children's kindergarten reading scores. I find that a) Hispanic immigrant children are at a significant disadvantage compared to their non-immigrant peers, and b) a large portion of this disadvantage can be attributed to differences in home language spoken and parental reading practices. Several policy implications are discussed, focusing primarily on expanding access to books for immigrant populations.
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