Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Lisa M. López, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sarah Kiefer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jenifer Jasinski Schneider, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Trina Spencer, Ph.D.


shared book reading, early language learning, family literacy, single-case experimental design, peer coaching


Children’s language ability upon entry to kindergarten is a powerful predictor of reading achievement throughout elementary school; yet disparities in children’s language growth have been detected as early as 18 months of age. These disparities have been linked to the quantity and quality of speech provided to children as they are learning to talk. The current study employed a single-case multiple-baseline across participants experimental design to evaluate the effectiveness of an early literacy intervention to increase teen parents’ child-directed speech and conversational turns. The intervention was delivered one-on-one via videoconferencing by a teen parent peer coach. Participants included teen parents enrolled in the Teen Parenting Program of a large, urban school district in the southeastern United States, and their infants, ages 1–36 months. The Language Environment Analysis (LENA) system was used to gather and parse daylong recordings of the children’s natural language environments once each week for 22 weeks during baseline, treatment, and maintenance phases. The data were analyzed using visual analysis, hierarchical linear modeling, and effect size indices. Social validity of the intervention was measured by online surveys developed by the researcher. The results demonstrated a significant increase in the number of words teen parents addressed to their children and the effect size was large. In addition, participants gave high ratings for the intervention’s social validity. These findings demonstrated the potential of an intervention tailored for teen parents and facilitated by a peer to support teen parents in providing their children with rich early literacy experiences that may provide a foundation for language ability and reading achievement.