WWC review of this study

A picture book reading intervention in day care and home for children from low-income families.

Whitehurst, G. J., Arnold, D. S., Epstein, J. N., Angell, A. L., Smith, M., & Fischel, J. E. (1994). Developmental Psychology, 30(5), 679-689. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ493520

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    67
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: April 2010

Study sample characteristics were not reported.
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: February 2007

Oral language outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised (EOWPVT-R)

Dialogic Reading vs. Small group play activities

Posttest

3 year olds;
67 students

89.89

85.18

Yes

 
 
13
More Outcomes

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test Revised (PPVT-R)

Dialogic Reading vs. Small group play activities

Posttest

3 year olds;
67 students

86.49

83.68

No

--

Our Word

Dialogic Reading vs. Small group play activities

Posttest

3 year olds;
67 students

10.18

8.91

No

--

Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA-VE)

Dialogic Reading vs. Small group play activities

Posttest

3 year olds;
67 students

100.06

100.11

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 45%
    Male: 55%
  • Race
    Black
    55%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    23%
    Not Hispanic
    77%
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    New York

Setting

The study took place in five day care centers in Suffolk County, New York, which served mainly children of families qualified for public subsidy of day-care costs under Title XX of the Federal Social Security Act.

Study sample

The study began with 73 three-year-old children from low-income families; at immediate posttest 67 children remained in the sample. At entry into the study, the mean age of the children was 3.5 years. Forty-five percent were female, 55% were black, and 23% were Hispanic. The children were randomly assigned within classroom to intervention and comparison conditions.

Intervention Group

The study included two intervention conditions: a Dialogic Reading at school condition and a Dialogic Reading both at school and at home condition. The Dialogic Reading at school and the Dialogic Reading both at school and at home groups were combined for this review to reflect analyses conducted by the study authors and findings from the combined groups are used to determine the overall rating of effectiveness. However, the WWC reports findings for the two intervention groups versus the comparison group separately in Appendix A5. In the Dialogic Reading at school condition, the teacher or aide conducted the sessions in the classroom in small groups of no more than five children daily for about 10 minutes over a six week period. In the Dialogic Reading both at school and at home condition, children received similar small-group Dialogic Reading sessions at school and a one-on-one daily Dialogic Reading session at home with their parents.

Comparison Group

The comparison condition children participated in play activities in small groups of no more than five children daily for about 10 minutes. The play activities centered on construction toys that were not available in the classrooms before the study.

Outcome descriptions

The primary outcome domain was children’s oral language use. The study used the following standardized measures: the PPVT-R, the EOWPVT-R, and the ITPA-VE. The authors also utilized a researcher-developed measure called “Our Word” (see Appendix A2.1 for more detailed descriptions of outcome measures).

Support for implementation

Teachers were trained in Dialogic Reading using a videotape training method, which presented the two phases of Dialogic Reading. During the training, the trainees were presented with a set of guidelines and taped vignettes of adult-child book reading that exemplified or did not follow the guidelines. Trainees critiqued the vignettes and had oneon- one role plays with the trainer. The phase one and phase two training sessions were presented three weeks apart and lasted for 30 and 20 minutes respectively. Parents were trained to use Dialogic Reading at home using the same videotape and similar training procedures that were used for teachers at their child’s day-care centers.

 

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