Context matters: The interrelatedness of early literacy skills, developmental health, and community demographics

Nonie K. Lesaux, Rose K. Vukovic, Clyde Hertzman, Linda S. Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Whereas the great majority of literacy research has been focused at the child level, this study examined the relationship between early literacy rates, developmental health of the population, and demographics in 23 school communities. The results showed that school-level literacy scores were related to the physical, social, and emotional maturity of the kindergarten population, as well as community demographics, including the proportion of families in each school catchment area living below the low income cutoff, the proportion of single-parent families, and the community 5-year mobility rate. Furthermore, the proportion of children at risk for literacy difficulties varied systematically by school, ranging from 0% to 44%; this risk was strongly related to developmental health and to demographics of the school community. The implications for models of early identification and corresponding intervention programs for at-risk children are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-518
Number of pages22
JournalEarly Education and Development
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

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