Theses Doctoral

Parental Reflective Functioning and Children’s Emergent Reading Skills: ERP and longitudinal behavioral measures

Lau, Airey Nga-Lui

The current study examined the correlations between parental reflective functioning and children’s phonological awareness and reading-related neural development (measured via a phoneme-processing experiment using EEG), and its utility as a predictor of children’s reading skills one year later when they have begun literacy education.
Fourteen pre-readers’ (mean age 4.51 years) phonological awareness and their parents’ reflective functioning skills were assessed, along with their EEG responses in a phoneme- processing task. Children’s phonological awareness and emergent reading skills were assessed again 12-15 months later, at the start of First Grade.
Left-lateralized neural indices were observed to be correlated with parental reflective functioning (PRF) and children’s later reading-related skills. Specifically, scores on measures of PRF: Interest & Curiosity were positively correlated with the N2 amplitude in the left temporal cortex (p = 0.049), and the P2 amplitude in the left temporal cortex was also correlated with children’s Phonological Awareness scores (p = 0.004) and with their Basic Reading scores (p = 0.002) one year later. Multiple linear regression analyses also revealed that scores on measures of PRF: Interest and Curiosity significantly predicted children’s future phonological awareness (p = 0.014) and basic reading skills (p = 0.002). This study is the first of its kind to identify correlations between parental engagement and neural indices of children’s pre-reading skills, and to reveal parental reflective functioning as a strong predictor of children’s later reading abilities.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Speech and Language Pathology
Thesis Advisors
Froud, Karen
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
March 1, 2019