Elisabeth Duursma

Elisabeth DuursmaPosition: Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Literacy
Phone: (02) 4221 5295



Elisabeth Duursma is a senior lecturer in Early Childhood Literacy at UOW. She received her doctorate in Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. At Harvard she worked on the evaluation of the Early Head Start Project for six years. Previously she worked at the University of Groningen and Leiden University, both in the Netherlands, as well as Reach Out and Read, a non-profit paediatric literacy program in Boston. Elisabeth’s work has focused on young children’s language and literacy development, in particular in the early years (birth-age 5) and in low-income families. She is interested in how parents engage their children in bookreading and how it affects their children’s language, literacy and cognitive development. In more recent years her work has shifted to father involvement. Elisabeth is interested in how fathers are engaged in their children’s lives and what the impact is on child development. She is particularly interested in working with low-income and vulnerable families. Elisabeth joined UOW in January 2015 and is a member of the Early Start Research Initiative. At UOW she teaches in the areas of language and literacy, educational psychology and research methods. Together with dr. Michael Flood, she is co-director of the Critical Research on Men and Masculinities (CROMM) at UOW. Her work has been funded by the Noonan Foundation, the Dutch Department of Education and the Dutch Reading Foundation.

View Publications List


  • Duursma, E. (2014). The effects of fathers’ and mothers’ reading to their children on language outcomes of children participating in Early Head Start in the United States. Fathering, 12 (3), 283-302. doi: 10.3149/fth.1203.283
  • Duursma, E. (2014). Parental bookreading practices among families in the Netherlands. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. 14 (4), 435-458.
  • Duursma, E., Pan, B.A. (2011). Who's reading to children in low-income families? The influence of paternal, maternal, and child characteristics. Early Child Development and Care, 181, 1163-1180.
  • Duursma, E, Pan, B.A., Raikes, H.A. (2008). A broader picture of early literacy experiences: Predictors and outcomes of low-income fathers' reading with their toddlers. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23, 351-365.
  • Duursma, E., Augustyn, M, Zuckerman, B. (2008). Reading aloud to children: The Evidence. Archives of Diseases in Childhood, 93, 554-557.
  • Duursma, E, Romero-Contreras, S, Szuber, A, Proctor, P, Snow, C, August, D, Calderón, M. (2007).The role of home literacy and language environment on bilinguals’ English and Spanish vocabulary development. Applied Psycholinguistics, 28,171-190. +
  • August, D, Snow, C, Carlo, M, Proctor, P, Rolla San Francisco, A, Duursma, E, Szuber, A. (2006). Literacy Development in Elementary School Second-language Learners. Topics in Language Disorders, 26 (4), 351-364.
  • Duursma, E., Meijer, A., & de Bot, K. (under review). Screen media use among preteens in The Netherlands.
  • Duursma, E., & Collins, T. (under review). Who’s involved? Low-income fathers’ involvement, knowledge and views on child development and child wellbeing.
  • Khandekar, A., Sices, L., Duursma, E., & Kotelchuck, M. (submitted). Bookreading in immigrant mothers.


Contributions to books

  • Schoevers, R., & Duursma, E. (in press). The framework for prevention. To appear in O. Okereke (Ed.) Prevention of late-life depression: current clinical challenges and priorities. Springer Publishers.
  • De Glopper, C.M., Duursma, E, Lantinga, R. (2012). Expert of medelezer: Effecten op de interactie van twee verschillende voorleesstijlen tijdens tutorlezen (Expert- or co-reader: Effects on interaction using two different styles of bookreading during tutor reading). In C.M. de Glopper, J. van Kruiningen, & M. Gosen, Gesprekken in het onderwijs. Delft, the Netherlands: Eburon.
  • Snow, C, Duursma, E. (2008). De relatie tussen ontwikkeling van taal en geletterdheid en de rol van de omgeving (The relationship between language and literacy development and the impact of the environment). In de D. Haan & E. Kuiper (Eds.), Leerkracht in beeld. Ontwikkelingsgericht onderwijs: Theorie, onderzoek, en praktijk (pp. 110-115). Assen, the Netherlands: Van Gorcum.


Research Students

Amalia Badawi: Mindfulness and the impact on gratitude among primary school students

Last reviewed: 10 June, 2015