Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor



This study used an analytic/qualitative method to gather data about young siblings and their interactions with each other as they engaged in literacy-related play activities in the home. The mothers of four sets of siblings collected the initial data in their rural home settings. The fieldwork took place over a period of eight weeks and included written observational notes of literacy-related play events. Detailed descriptions of the interactions were coded according to five research-related themes. They were 1) the older siblings take the role of the more capable other, 2) the older siblings initiate more activities and demonstrate teacher-like behaviors,3) the younger siblings follow the lead of the older sibling, 4) the younger siblings seek the approval of the older sibling, and 5) young siblings share an intimate experience with each other when engaged in literacy-related activities. The study also identified an additional theme of balanced/shared roles. More research is necessary in the area of sibling interactions between twins and siblings that are close in age.




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