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Parental Factors Contributing to Narrative Skills Development in Preschool Children
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by Heather L. Gelhorn and Judith G. Foy - Loyola Marymount University
Narrative skills play a crucial role in the progression from preliteracy to full reading comprehension. However, factors contributing to the development of narrative skills are not fully understood. In this study we explored the relation of preschoolers' home literacy environment to narrative skills. The narrative skills of 41 preschoolers were significantly correlated with several factors that are usually controllable by parents, including use of electronic reading-related toys, trips to the library, both the parent and child's print exposure, television variables, and parent-child reading interactions. The results indicated that electronic reading-related toys may be important for the development of narrative skills, and that other variables, such as parent knowledge of children's literature and self-reports of their children's print exposure, may have lesser or negligible effects on narrative ability. The findings, especially those pertaining to electronics, are important to educators and parents alike as they may provide avenues for improving children's narrative skills.