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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

National Center for Family Literacy; National Institute for Literacy
The Effect of Family Literacy Interventions On Children’s Acquisition of Reading From Kindergarten to Grade 3: A Meta-Analytic Review

Sénéchal, M. (2006).
National Institute for Literacy.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a meta-analysis of experimental or quasi-experimental research studies addressing the effects of parent involvement in children's acquisition of reading.

Question(s) Addressed:

  1. Does parent involvement influence reading acquisition?
  2. Secondary questions pertained to intervention characteristics, participant characteristics, and study characteristics.

Population: Children in kindergarten through 3rd grade.

Intervention/Assessment: Parent involvement in the acquisition of reading.

Number of Studies Included: 14

Years Included: Not stated



  • Treatment
    • Language
      • Reading
        • Parent-Assisted Instruction
          • "The studies reviewed suggest that parents of children in kindergarten to grade 3 can help their children learn to read. Parents are most helpful when they are trained to teach specific skills to their child" (p. 19).
          • Overall, the findings suggest that parent involvement has a positive effect on children's reading acquisition with a moderately large mean effect for the combined studies (effect size = .68). Smaller effects were reported for studies including standardized tests.
          • Three types of parent interventions had differing effects. "Having parents teach specific literacy skills to their children was two times more effective than having parents listen to their children read and six times more effective than encouraging parents to read to their children" (p. i).
          • Parent interventions were "as effective for children experiencing reading difficulties" (p. i). 
  • Service Delivery
    • Dosage
      • Parent-Assisted Instruction - Duration of intervention did not moderate the effectiveness of children's reading acquisition.

Keywords: Literacy, Parent-Mediated Intervention

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Added to Compendium: March 2012

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