The study aims to examine the relationships among family's socioeconomic status (SES), home literacy environment (reading resources and reading activities available at home), and Chinese children's vocabulary and reading comprehension ability. A total of 594 Chinese preschool children (293 boys; mean age = 62.01 months; 130 in K1, 180 in K2, and 284 in K3) participated in this study. The children’s vocabulary skills were assessed with Chinese Peabody Picture Test-Revised, and reading comprehension skills were examined with a specific story-based reading task. The parents were invited to complete a questionnaire relating to their educational background, income, and the home literacy environment. Two multiple mediation models were constructed based. One model examined the relationships among the families’ SES, home reading resources, and the children's vocabulary and reading comprehension abilities, while the other examined the relationships among the family SES, home reading activities, and children's vocabulary and reading comprehension abilities. Results showed that family's SES directly affected home literacy environment, and children's vocabulary levels, but not their reading comprehension ability. However, family SES predicted the development of children's reading comprehension ability through the mediation of their vocabulary that was affected by the home literacy environment. These findings suggested that vocabulary levels are the key mediator in the relationships between children's reading comprehension ability and home literacy environment. In situations where improving the family's SES is challenging, enhancing the home literacy environment can be a feasible approach for fostering children's vocabulary and thereafter promoting their reading abilities.
Kaiyue Wang, Zhejiang Normal University, China
Baogen Liu, Zhejiang Normal University, China
Jiangbo Hu, Zhejiang Normal University, China