Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Article

Home Literacy Experiences and Shared Reading Practices: Preschoolers With Hearing Loss

Jean L DesJardin, Carren J Stika, Laurie S Eisenberg, Karen C Johnson, Dianne Hammes Ganguly, Shirley C Henning, Home Literacy Experiences and Shared Reading Practices: Preschoolers With Hearing Loss, The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Volume 28, Issue 2, April 2023, Pages 189–200, https://doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enac050,

Access: Institutional Access

Publication year


study description

Longitudinal Prospective with Cross-Sectional Analysis

core topic(s)

Shared Reading

Population Characteristics

Medical Conditions and Disabilities , Toddler/Preschool

Exposures, Outcomes, Other

Home Language/Literacy/Learning Environment , Language and Literacy Development , Parent Behaviors and Skills , Parent-Child Relationships/Interactions


Home literacy experiences and observed parent and child behaviors during shared book reading were investigated in preschool-age children with hearing loss and with typical hearing to examine the relationships between those factors and children's language skills.


Shared reading and hearing loss

outcomes evaluated

Home literacy experiences, shared book reading behaviors, and childhood language skills


All children were recruited through two pediatric hearing research clinics. Both sites received Internal Review Board Approval for this study. Inclusion criteria for both groups of children included no known secondary disability and a primarily English-speaking home.


The methods involved parent-reported home literacy experiences and videotaped parent-child dyads during shared book reading. Children's language skills were tested using the Preschool Language Scale-4.

sample size

n=36 (parents, present investigation); n=49 (parents, comparison purposes); n=39 (parents and children with HL, originally); n=49 (parents and children with HL, originally)


  • Measure of Auditory Information: parent report of questions regarding their child’s HL, newborn hearing screening information, age at identification of HL, initial age of amplification, age of enrollment in an early intervention program, and speech-language services. Auditory information such as pure tone average (PTA-4) and degree of HL was obtained from an audiologic evaluation conducted by a licensed pediatric audiologist as part of the global assessment battery.
  • Measure of Home Literacy Environment: parents self-report the following questions
    •  To what extent does your child seem to enjoy looking at storybooks with you?
    • How many minutes per day do you and your child read books together?
    • To what extent is it easy to read storybooks with your child?
  • Measure of Language Skills: children were administered the Auditory Comprehension (AC) and Expressive Communication (EC) subtests of the Preschool Language Scale Fourth Edition (PLS-4)
  • Measure of Shared Book Reading Interactions: The Responsive Adult-Child Engagement During Shared Book Reading (RACED-SBR) scale was used to code videotaped shared-book reading interactions, including 5 sections:
    •  adult and child engagement
    • adult literacy strategies
    • adult teaching techniques
    • adult and child interactive reading
    •  child guided reading


The results indicated significant differences between groups for home literacy experiences and observed parent and child behaviors. Parents of children with hearing loss were found to read more frequently to their children than parents of children with typical hearing, yet scored lower for literacy strategies and teaching techniques compared to parents of children with typical hearing. Children with hearing loss scored lower in interactive reading behaviors compared to children with typical hearing. For children with hearing loss, frequency of book reading and child interactive reading behaviors were strong predictive factors for children's language skills.


These results suggest that families of children with hearing loss would benefit from professional support as they read storybooks to their children. Similarly, children with hearing loss should be encouraged to be more interactive during shared book reading.


This study investigated HLE factors, and the relationships between child and parent SBR behaviors and children’s language skills. Although it provides us with cross-sectional findings and predictive relationships, it does not take advantage of the longitudinal design used in the original study (Stika et al., 2015). Thus, it could be the case that other child factors (e.g., quality of preschool program, teacher talk in preschool, number of days attending preschool) may have a stronger influence on language skills for this population of children with mild-to-severe HL. Future analyses of various factors at later time points (e.g., kindergarten, early school-age) will provide a much broader understanding of the precise mechanisms that guide school readiness efforts. Additionally, although this is a fairly large sample of diverse parents and their children with HL and children with TH, the present sample was primarily White and spoke English. Future studies that investigate families of young children with HL who are more culturally and linguistically diverse will provide a more generalized outcome (McNaughton, 2006). Nevertheless, findings from this study highlight the importance of both the frequency of book reading and parent and child behaviors during SBR that may support language skills in preschool-age children with HL prior to entering kindergarten programs.