Institute of Education

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Paper by IOE Experts Published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly

A recent study co-authored by IOE education quality monitoring experts Alina Ivanova and Elena Kardanova has been featured in the latest issue of the Early Childhood Research Quarterly international journal.

The study explores the role of family investments, i.e., resources available at home, joint parent–child literacy activities and access to outside-home resources and activities, as a mediator in the links between parental education, attitudes to preschool development, family socio-economic status, and child literacy at school entry.  


The family investment model provides a powerful perspective for understanding the processes underlying relations between parents’ socio-economic status (SES) and children’s achievement. The extant research on the role of parental investments has largely built on U.S. studies. The present work extended this line of investigation to a novel context by testing family investments as a proximal link between SES and child outcomes in Russia. The study focused on predictors of literacy skills in children entering primary school. It examined the pathways from parental education, income and beliefs to children’s literacy skills through family investments: resources available at home, joint parent-child literacy activities and access to outside-home resources and activities. As hypothesized, these investments mediated the relation of parental income and education to child literacy, with education being more strongly related to child outcomes than income. Beliefs about the importance of developing literacy skills prior to school were found to be independent of SES and linked to child outcomes through the same sorts of family investments as SES. The findings show the robustness of the family investment model across diverse contexts and advance our understanding of the model by incorporating parental beliefs in its current framework.

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