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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


The Influence of Paired Reading on the Relationship between the Parent and the Learner with Reading Disabilities

Ansie Lessing & Mariaan Odendaal.

The quality of the parent-child relationship plays an essential role in the socio-emotional development of the child. A healthy parent-child relationship displays: physical contact, emotional involvement, sensitivity for the child’s needs, acknowledgement and acceptance of the child’s unique personality, support and emotional guidance, the set of challenges, the existence of discipline, respect, responsibility, as well as the enhancement of critical thinking, social skills and communication skills. In a healthy parent-child relationship opportunity is created for positive socio-emotional development, seen in: feelings of safety and security, feelings of acceptance and acknowledgement, acceptance of authority and the ability to apply problem solving, communication and social skills. The child also manifests qualities like self-discipline, self-respect and self-confidence which.

It often happens that problems with a child impede the relation between the parents and the child. In this paper attention is given to the problems that may occur in the parent-child relation when the child manifests reading problems. Parents may experience difficulty to accept that their child has a reading problem and this lack of acceptance may contribute negatively to their relation. The interaction between parent and child is researched within the context of paired reading, to ascertain whether paired reading influences the relationship between the parent and the child with reading problems.

This paper reflects on a qualitative study which gained insight into the unique experiences of the parents and children during paired reading. It is aimed to identify specific aspects of paired reading that could influence the parent-child relationship. The possibility that certain educational aspects from paired reading can be applied to daily parent-child interaction to improve the relationship, is also looked at.


Ansie Lessing & Mariaan Odendaal  (South Africa)
Department of Educational Studies
University of South Africa

Professor in Dept of Educational Studies at Unisa. Member of the team responsible for the training of Educational Psychologists. Interests include: parent guidance, emotional problems, learning support, personality development and L2 learners.

  • Socio-emotional development
  • Parent-child relationship
  • Paired reading
  • Parent-child interaction
  • Self-actualization

(30 min Conference Paper, English)