This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Partnering with Reach Out and Read Alabama to Understand Families’ Experiences with Books and Their Babies: The Reading and Relationships Project




Rogers, Kimberly

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Human Development and Family Science

Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Shared book reading is associated with higher quality parent-child interactions (Canfield et al., 2020a), as well as child cognitive (e.g., Baker, 2013; Baker et al., 2017) and socioemotional development (Downer & Mendez, 2005; Schapira & Aram, 2020). However, only a small percentage of families in the United States share books with their infants daily (Keating & Heinemeier, 2022). Reach Out and Read (ROR) promotes early literacy among children ages 6 months-5 years (Klass et al., 2009) and reaches over 4 million children every year via pediatric primary care visits (Reach Out and Read, 2022b). Based on the determinants of parenting model (Taraban & Shaw, 2018), this study examined how parent, child, and contextual characteristics relate to shared book reading frequency and perceived ROR value. Participants (N = 59) were recruited from two ROR clinics in a Southeastern U.S. state. Parents with private insurance and more mental health symptoms shared books more frequently with their infants. Parents with fewer mental health symptoms valued ROR more. Results suggest the need to explore health care insurance and parental mental health as correlates of early literacy experiences during infancy.