Father's Education Is Related to Adult Children's Literacy . Practices, Knowledge and Vocabulary
In an innovative telephone interview researchers in San Diego assessed area resident's literacy and vocabulary knowledge.
Using a random dialing method that produced a sample closely resembling the U. S. Census population, over 530 San Diego area, English-speaking adults, aged 18 years and above, were asked about their knowledge of famous authors, magazines, people, and vocabulary words.
In the Author Recognition Test (ART), adults were told, " I am going to read you a list of people's names, some of these are the names of famous authors, and some are not. If you think the person is a famous author just say yes." For the ART, 10 actual author's names and 5 foil names were used. Foils, or false author's names, were used to correct people's responses for guessing. A similar approach was used for magazines, famous people, and vocabulary words.
Among the many interesting results of the survey were the findings that about 80% of San Diegans knew of the author Sidney Sheldon, but only about 40% knew Bob Woodward. This might be because Sheldon's works have appeared a lot on television.
Some 80% of San Diegans knew about Esquire and Forbes magazines, while only about half knew of Scientific American. Over 80% knew of Greta Garbo, Harry Houdini and George Gershwin, but fewer than a third knew of Margaret Sanger, Enrico Fermi or Carlos Fuentes. Only about a half knew of Rosa Parks While over 80% knew vocabulary words of audible, optimize, and polarity, fewer than half knew that confluence, eventuate and purview were words.
The intergenerational effects of parent's education on their adult children's knowledge was apparent Father's education was statistically significantly related to the total knowledge score made-up of all four tests combined, while mother's education was related to the magazine knowledge test. Additionally, father's education was related to how much reading their adult children engaged in, while mother's education was not. This suggests that by helping fathers or fathers-to-be gain more education, we are helping to create a second generation of adults who read more and know more. Since knowledge is power, investment in a father's education helps to empower the next generation.