Date of Award

Summer 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Disorders & Special Education


Special Education

Committee Director

Peggy P. Hester

Committee Member

Maureen A. Conroy

Committee Member

Andrea Debruin-Pareccki

Committee Member

John A. Nunnery

Committee Member

Sharon A. Raver-Lampman


The purpose of this study was to examine an activity-based intervention, dialogic reading with embedded explicit phonological awareness strategies, applied as a preventive approach by parents in their home settings located within a culturally and ethnically diverse urban region. This study investigated the effects of training parents to employ a phonodialogic activity-based emergent reading intervention protocol to increase the phonological awareness skills of their 4- and 5-year old children. Helping young children learn phonological awareness skills are vitally important to the development of early reading (Anthony & Lonigan, 2004; Ziolkowski & Goldstein, 2008). This investigation provided an empirical examination of a critical area which has received little experimentation. Though there is ample empirical evidence on the contribution of phonological awareness to children's reading skills, there is virtually no research on the contribution of phonological awareness instruction on the early reading development of young children when it is embedded within the context of a dialogic reading activity with parents as interventionists. Accordingly, the theoretical underpinnings of this study, specifically phonological awareness, activity-based intervention, and dialogic reading are discussed in the literature review section. This dissertation describes methodology and the results of testing the hypothesis that parental phonodialogic reading strategies will have an observable positive treatment effect on preschool children's phonological awareness skills when baseline, intervention, and maintenance conditions are compared.