Study: Parents' education affects kids

January 29, 2007

A Canadian study finds children of parents who have not completed high school are more likely to struggle with reading and writing.

University of Alberta Professor Linda Phillips, director of the Canadian Center for Research on Literacy, and colleagues Ruth Hayden and Stephen Norris, say their study is the first to offer quantitative proof parent-child literacy interventions for families of low-educational and low-income backgrounds are effective.

"This study is unique because it attempted to look at the corresponding relationship between the mother and father's educational level and how well kids do on early screening tests," said Phillips, who led the research. "It became so definitive that, based upon parental educational levels, we could predict how the kids would do.

"What this tells us is that it is critical for students to finish high school or this vicious circle of literacy will never improve if we don't improve the education level of parents and would-be parents across the country," said Phillips.

Results of the study are reported in the book "Family Literacy Matters: A Longitudinal Parent-Child Literacy Intervention Study" published by Temeron Books Inc.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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