Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Program Name/Specialization

Developmental Psychology


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Eileen Wood

Advisor Role



This research study examines the influence of providing parents with early literacy or socio-emotional instruction on their children’s performance in reading and social skill development. Parents were offered four interactive workshops designed to assist them in identifying everyday opportunities to reinforce either early reading skills or early social skills development. Two reading skills approaches were explored, traditional text reading and traditional text reading with computer-assisted learning opportunities. These two reading approaches were contrasted with a set of social development workshops derived from social-emotional learning models. Children’s performance was measured at three time intervals from early kindergarten to early in grade one. Although developmental increases in performance are expected to occur over time, specific additional gains were detected among children of parents who were exposed to the workshops in comparison to those who did not for DIBELS initial sound fluency, GRADE grapheme-phoneme correspondence, and GRADE listening comprehension. Additional gains were observed for children whose parents attended the social workshops for academic measures related to phonological awareness, phonological processing speed, reading accuracy, and other early reading skills, and social measures of conduct problems and prosocial behaviour, when compared to children in the reading conditions. Generally, these findings suggest that greater support of socio-emotional development could reduce the need for additional and specific academic support for some students. Additionally, parental involvement in instructional workshops on early literacy and social development may have significant effects for children’s academic and social success. As early intervention programs within schools tend to be costly and can be challenging to manage in typical education environments, this study provides further evidence for the potential of involving parents in their children's educational interventions as a viable alternative to traditional intervention schemes to increase positive outcomes and reduce cost.

Convocation Year


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