Grocery games: How ethnically diverse low-income mothers support children's reading and mathematics

Diana Leyva, Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Carmen Jimenez-Robbins, Lauren Malachowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parent-child interactions are an important source of variability in children's learning. We asked: (1) to what extent do low-income and ethnically diverse mothers engage in maternal writing support, math support, and directiveness in a grocery shopping game; (2) do these maternal behaviors predict gains in children's reading and mathematics from age 5 (T1) to first grade (T2), and (3) what role do ethnicity and children's baseline skills (T1) play in these associations. Participants were 212 low-income African American, Dominican, Mexican, and Chinese mothers and their 5-year-old children. Maternal writing support predicted gains in children's reading skills but math support did not predict gains in children's mathematics. Maternal directiveness negatively predicted gains in both children's reading and mathematics. Ethnicity and children's baseline skills did not moderate these associations. Implications for family-focused interventions serving low-income and ethnically diverse populations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-76
Number of pages14
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
StatePublished - Mar 3 2017


  • Academic achievement
  • Cross-cultural
  • Home environment
  • Literacy
  • School transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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