Socioeconomic differences in code-focused emergent literacy skills
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In the present study, we examined patterns of code-focused emergent literacy skill growth for children from lower and higher socioeconomic (SES) families enrolled at a high-quality early childhood center. Measures of letter name knowledge, letter sound knowledge, alliteration, and rhyming were collected at three time points over the course of the year. Additionally, standardized measures of print knowledge and phonological awareness were collected at the end of the year. Growth curve analyses indicated SES-related differences in initial status, but no differences in rate of growth. Initial status predicted end-of-year print knowledge. Both initial status and SES predicted end-of-year phonological awareness. These results suggest that gaps in code-focused emergent literacy skills exist earlier than previously documented with no evidence of compensatory or Matthew effects.
KeywordsAlphabet knowledge Phonological awareness Early childhood Literacy Socioeconomic status
The authors acknowledge the cooperation of the families, faculty, and staff at the Schoenbaum Family Center in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Schoenbaum Family Center, College of Education and Human Ecology, or their faculty/staff.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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.
Human and animal rights statement
This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study.
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