Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Charles Warfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Jianping Shen

Third Advisor

Dr. Joseph Morris


The purpose of this study is to assist with developing resources that encourage parental involvement. The overall research question for this study is: "What types of parent behaviors have significant influence on literacy development among children enrolled in a local Head Start Program?" Parent behaviors are presented as a resource by quantifying their impact on a child's language development and personal-social development. This is a nonexperimental study, designed to analyze childhood readiness to learn among children enrolled in a local Head Start Program. Multiple regression was used to assess parent behaviors as predictors of language development and personal-social development of their children.

Forty-two cases were analyzed using a child's rating on the Denver II Development screener for language development and personal-social development. These areas of development were statistically analyzed using SPSS on survey results from a Parent-Child Relationship Inventory (PCRI) as numerical scores for parent behavior. Parent and child data were also summarized by bivariate correlation.

Based on these analyses, a statistical model was identified that uses limit setting as a parent behavior that influences a child's personal-social development at p = .02. Significant correlation was found between language development and personal-social development (p = .01). The findings of the study do allow the use of parent behavior as predictors of a child's readiness to learn in the areas of development defined in the study. Furthermore, the study gives educators an opportunity to promote a paradigm shift from traditional uses of resources for family literacy programs. This can be accomplished by using the identified parent influences/behaviors as tools for programs designed around several parent behaviors. When we have an identified purpose, we can work toward specific outcomes. This study supports and encourages data gathering from within the at-risk populations and then using their data as a resourceful component of a model designed to meet their needs.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access