Publication Date

Spring 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Child and Adolescent Development


Maria Fusaro

Subject Areas

Reading instruction


Using an ethnically diverse sample of Mexican and Dominican families from the NewYork metro area, the present study investigated the behaviors of parents and their three-yearold children, during shared book reading (SBR). The aspect of child behavior that was investigated was engagement, which was assessed by observations of children’s attentiveness and verbal participation during the reading activity. Children within this sample were highly engaged, with most demonstrating active engagement, the highest level of engagement in this study. When looking at the behaviors of parents, the use of two sets of strategies were investigated: interactive book reading strategies and language use. In regards to interactive book reading strategies, it was found that mothers use many interactive reading strategies with the exception of three: relating the book to the child, soliciting predictions, and asking recall questions. The interactive strategies that were highly correlated with child engagement included asking questions, sharing the book, and maintaining physical proximity. In regards to language matching, it was found that in most dyads, parents and children used the same language throughout (Spanish, English, or Mix). Exploration of parents use of language matching and children’s engagement suggested no clear relationship between both potentially, due to the low variability of child engagement. The implications from this study include developing a reading inventory that includes more developmentally appropriate strategies to be used by parents of young children to increase child engagement during SBR.