Increasing Caregivers’ Adherence to an Early-Literacy Intervention Improves the Print Knowledge of Children with Language Impairment

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of four behavior-change techniques for caregivers implementing a 15-week literacy intervention with their children with language impairment. Techniques include modeling, encouragement, feedback, and rewards. Random assignment within a factorial experimental design was used to determine which behavior-change technique(s) each of the 128 caregivers would receive. Caregivers’ adherence was assessed for frequency and dosage of intervention based on submission of logs and tape recordings. Children’s print knowledge was assessed at pre- and posttest to assess literacy skills. Results showed that children whose caregivers were rewarded 50 cents per session to implement the intervention made significantly greater gains in print knowledge over the treatment period. Further, these effects were fully mediated by effects of the behavior-change technique on caregivers’ adherence to the intervention.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by a Grant from the National Institute of Health’s Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), Grant # 1R21DC013599. We are grateful to the families who participated in this work, and the collaboration with Nationwide Children’s Hospital for supporting implementation of this study.

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Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Each author contribute substantially to this work. LMJ and JL conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, and drafted parts of the manuscript; JC conducted key analyses and aided in interpretation of the data, and helped to draft the manuscript; ST participated in the design and coordination of the study, developed key measures, and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Laura M. Justice.

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Conflicts of interest

The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the Ethical Standards of the Institutional and/or National Research Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Provision of caregiver consent was provided for all parents and children enrolled in this study.

Appendix

Appendix

Books by week Print Concepts Targeted
My First Day of School (1987) Environmental Print
Author: P. K. Hallinan Concept of Reading
The Dandelion Seed (1997) Upper-Case versus Lower-Case Letters
Author: Joseph P. Anthony Top and Bottom of Page
Down by the Cool of the Pool (2001) Title of Book
Author: Tony Mitton Word Identification
“More, More, More,” said the Baby (1990) Concept of Letter
Author: Vera B. Williams Top and Bottom of Page
Farmer Duck (1991) Page Order
Author: Martin Waddell Names of Letters
Rumble in the Jungle (1998) Word Identification
Author: Giles Andreae Concept of Letter
David Gets in Trouble (2002) Author
Author: David Shannon Letters versus Words
The Way I Feel (2000) Short Words versus Long Words
Author: Janan Cain Print Function
Dear Mr. Blueberry (1991) Title of Book
Author: Simon James Print Function
Animal Action ABC (1996) Letters versus Words
Author: Karen Pandell Names of Letters
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten (1996) Upper-Case versus Lower-Case Letters
Author: Joseph Slate Concept of Word in Print
Mouse Mess (1997) Environmental Print
Author: Linnea Riley Page Order
In the Small, Small Pond (1993) Concept of Word in Print
Author: Denise Fleming Print Direction
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear (1984) Names of Letters
Authors: Don & Audrey Wood Concept of Reading
The Recess Queen (2002) Short Words versus Long Words
Author: Alexis O’Neill Author

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Justice, L.M., Chen, J., Tambyraja, S. et al. Increasing Caregivers’ Adherence to an Early-Literacy Intervention Improves the Print Knowledge of Children with Language Impairment. J Autism Dev Disord 48, 4179–4192 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3646-2

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Keywords

  • Language impairment
  • Developmental disability
  • Emergent literacy
  • Parent-implemented interventions
  • Home literacy
  • Preschool