Maternal Mediation in a Young Child’s Writing Activity: A Sociocultural Perspective

Authored by: Dorit Aram , Ofra Korat , Iris Levin

Handbook of Orthography and Literacy

Print publication date:  September  2005
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780805846522
eBook ISBN: 9780203824719
Adobe ISBN: 9781136781353


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In this chapter, we review two studies we conducted that focused on mother-child joint writing activity as a function of their sociocultural background and its relation to the child's literacy level in two age groups: kindergartners and second graders. In the first study with second graders, we compared two socioeconomic-status (SES) groups, high SES (HSES) and low SES (LSES), and in the second, with kindergartners, we delved deeper into the LSES by studying SES differences within the LSES group. The most important findings of the two studies described here are the links found between the quality of maternal mediation of writing and children's literacy. In the first study of second graders, LSES differed from HSES on maternal mediation and on children's literacy level. However, the correlations between these variables within each group—HSES and LSES—appeared only in the HSES group. In the second study, in which only LSES kindergartners were studied, these correlations were especially strong. Within this group, even after all sociocultural measures (SES, maternal exposure to children's and adults' books, and literacy-related materials at home), were controlled for, the link between the quality of maternal mediation of writing and the child's reading and writing skills is still substantial.

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