Socioeconomic status, parent report of children’s early language skills, and late literacy skills: A long term follow-up study among Chinese children
Previous research on the longitudinal prediction of literacy development has focused mainly on the relationship between early cognitive/language skills and late literacy skills. The present study aimed to test the reliability of a number of measures reported by parents as compared to measuring cognitive and language skills in predicting subsequent reading achievement. Two hundred sixty-two Chinese children were administered four cognitive and language skills over three years at the preliterate stage. Additional information on children’s family socioeconomic status (SES), children’s early language skills, familial reading performance and habits, and familial handedness based on the observations of parents was collected. Performance on these variables in relation to subsequent literacy skills at 11 years of age was examined. SES and children’s early language skills significantly predicted subsequent literacy skills. Even with a number of cognitive and language skills statistically controlled, parental reports of children’s early language skills still contributed to reading comprehension. Poor readers defined at 11 years of age had lagged behind in early language skills, as well as family reading performance and habits, as compared to typically developing readers. These findings suggest that SES and parental estimates of children’s early language skills are useful for predicting children’s subsequent reading achievement.