The Language and Literacy Development of Head Start Children: A Study Using the Family and Child Experiences Survey Database Purpose This article provides information about the Head Start Family and Children Experiences Survey (FACES). It also presents the findings of a study that capitalizes on the strengths of the data from FACES to investigate the impact of child and family characteristics, speech-language impairment, and the home literacy environment on ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   January 01, 2010
The Language and Literacy Development of Head Start Children: A Study Using the Family and Child Experiences Survey Database
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Temple University, Philadelphia
  • George Farkas
    University of California—Irvine
  • Steve Maczuga
    The Pennsylvania State University, Philadelphia
  • Contact author: Carol Scheffner Hammer, Temple University, 110 Weiss Hall (265-62), 1701 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122. E-mail: Carol.Hammer@temple.edu.
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum   |   January 01, 2010
The Language and Literacy Development of Head Start Children: A Study Using the Family and Child Experiences Survey Database
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2010, Vol. 41, 70-83. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0050)
History: Received May 1, 2008 , Revised August 27, 2008 , Accepted December 8, 2008
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2010, Vol. 41, 70-83. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0050)
History: Received May 1, 2008; Revised August 27, 2008; Accepted December 8, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 37

Purpose This article provides information about the Head Start Family and Children Experiences Survey (FACES). It also presents the findings of a study that capitalizes on the strengths of the data from FACES to investigate the impact of child and family characteristics, speech-language impairment, and the home literacy environment on the language and early literacy outcomes of children from low-income families.

Method Data from the FACES 1997  cohort were used in this study. Variables included in the analysis were child and family characteristics (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, etc.); parent report of speech-language impairment; frequency of home literacy activities; and children’s scores on vocabulary, letter-word identification, and early reading assessments.

Results The results revealed that children’s vocabulary abilities in Head Start were affected by maternal education, ethnicity, and the frequency of home literacy activities, and children’s letter-word identification abilities were impacted by maternal education and the child’s gender and age. Additionally, children’s reading abilities in kindergarten were predicted by ethnicity, speech-language impairment, and the home literacy environment, as well as by children’s vocabulary and letter-word identification abilities in Head Start.

Conclusion The findings demonstrate the unique contributions that the home literacy environment and the presence of speech-language impairment during preschool make in children’s early reading outcomes.

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