Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Administration

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

G. Y. Turner, Ed.D.


Lynn Beckwith, EdD

Kathleen Sullivan-Brown, PhD

Adam Shariff, PhD


The Black family’s role in the literacy development of their children is important. Successful Black students in urban settings are influenced by their home environment, parent-child interactions, and home-to school connections. This is especially true for Black males. When parents are intimately involved in their child’s schooling by staying knowledgeable, encouraging and demonstrating the importance of reading, a child’s success in school is inevitable (Edwards, 2004). This study focuses on the significance of home literacy attitudes, behaviors, and practices that impact the reading scores of Black boys in third, fourth and fifth grades at three elementary schools in the St. Louis Public School District. The research design is an Explanatory Sequential Quasi-Mixed Methods- Multi-Strand (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2006) which is used to explore the relationship between family home literacy behaviors, practices and attitudes and the reading achievement of 3rd, 4th and 5th grade Black boys. Their reading scores from the Missouri Assessment Program (M.A.P.) and Standardized Test for the Assessment of Reading (S.T.A.R.) were analyzed and correlated to responses given by their parents on a parent questionnaire. M.A.P. and S.T.A.R. reading assessment results reveal that few boys included in the current study read at proficient levels; the majority of these boys read at the basic or below basic levels. The findings from this research indicate there is a relationship between parents who create a home literacy environment and the reading scores for third, fourth and fifth grade Black boys. The reading scores analyzed in this study indicate few significant correlations to the home literacy environment; however, the majority of the Black boys’ reading scores are below proficient levels. There is a relationship between the home literacy environment and the reading scores; however, the practices are not consistent enough to yield a significant correlation.

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