Affiliation: School of Education, School Psychology Graduate Program
This pilot study examined the effects of the Interactive Book Reading at Home (IBR; Wasik, 2009) parent training program on the emergent literacy skills of preschool children and parent beliefs about reading. A quasi-experimental, pretest and posttest design was utilized. Twenty parent-child dyads were randomly assigned to a control or treatment group. Nine treatment group dyads participated in a 10-week program designed to teach parents to use dialogic reading strategies. Eleven control group dyads engaged in reading as usual. All dyads were provided with developmentally appropriate books and were asked to engage in 15-minute dialogic reading sessions three times a week. Outcome measures assessed the alphabet knowledge, print awareness, and receptive and expressive vocabulary of the preschool children, as well as changes in parent reading beliefs. Between-group differences were examined using one-way ANCOVA, with the pretest scores being treated as covariates. Following the treatment period, no statistically significant differences were found between groups on measures of the children’s emergent literacy skills or parent reading beliefs following the treatment period. By contrast, practical significance was detected for receptive vocabulary improvements and increased positivity in parent beliefs about reading, suggesting the treatment shows promise for positive change for children and adults who participate in the program. Regarding treatment acceptability, a descriptive analysis suggested that parents reported overall favorable impressions of the program. Further, moderately high participant attendance and low attrition rates within the treatment group provided additional support for treatment acceptability. In sum, the findings in this pilot study support the promise of the IBR at Home as a practical, acceptable parent training program that has the potential to impact literacy outcomes of children. Limitations of the study design and future research directions are also discussed.