Even Start Family Literacy Program : similarities and differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic participants Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/r494vn763

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  • This study used a mixed method approach (quantitative and qualitative) to examine the commonalities and differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic participants of the Even Start Family Literacy Program. Using a life course perspective, this study examined the educational background and life history of Hispanic and non-Hispanic participants, their reasons and goals for program participation, and changes experienced due to Even Start participation. The sample for the qualitative analysis consisted of 32 Hispanic and 25 non-Hispanic female participants. Quantitative latent growth curve analysis was conducted on 96 (75 Hispanic and 21 Non-Hispanic) participants to measure change over time and to estimate the differences in rate of change between Hispanic and non-Hispanic participants. Results of this study indicate that wide commonalities yet vital differences exist between Hispanic and non-Hispanic participants. Poverty was the significant determinant factor in Hispanic as well as non-Hispanic participants' school failure. The experiences and implications of poverty, however, varied for Hispanic and non- Hispanic parents. The reasons and goals for Even Start participation were to achieve self-sufficiency for Hispanic and non-Hispanic parents. Achieving self-sufficiency involved acculturation to the American society for Hispanic participants. For non- Hispanic parents achieving self-sufficiency involved attaining GED and getting off of welfare. No effect of ethnicity was identified on the five outcome measures quantitatively examined in this study, which include knowledge of child development, parenting confidence and support, depression, self-esteem, and life skills. Initial differences existed between Hispanic and non-Hispanic participants in knowledge of child development and life skills, with non-Hispanic participants reporting higher knowledge of child development and greater life skills. Non-Hispanic participants, however, did not make greater gains than their Hispanic participants after being in the program. Qualitative results indicate that skills gained by Hispanic participants helped them acculturate in the American society, whereas for non-Hispanic participants the program helped achieve a sense of purpose and direction in life and create a better life for themselves and their family.
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