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Positive effects of parent-child book reading

Parent-child book reading has important benefits for children’s development. In this post I will explain the psychological effects of shared book reading on children and parents.

 Benefits of shared book reading

Research has shown that parent-child book reading has many benefits. For examle, it improves young children’s:

 Psychological effects of parent-child book reading

This study explored the psychological effects of book reading on children and parents. What are the psychological effects among children and parents?

  • For example, psychological effects among children include children’s social-emotional competence, quality of life and their reading interest.
  • Among parents, psychological effects could include stress and depression, parenting competence, parent-child relationship and parental attitude to reading with children.

 Book reading interventions

The authors summarized results of previous scientific articles about the psychological effects of shared book reading. The scientific articles included different book reading interventions in which parents received training, supportive materials or other reading-related services. Groups that received book reading interventions were compared with control groups that did not receive the intervention.

 Positive effects on psychological functioning

Results of the study showed that shared book reading has positive effects on the psychological outcomes of children and parents. The effects were small.

  • For example, book reading with children may positively impact children’s social-emotional competence, quality of life and reading interest.
  • In addition, book reading with children may improve parents’ parenting competence, their attitudes to reading with children and the quality of relationship with their children. Also, it may reduce parent’s stress or depression.

The effects of book reading were similar on older (aged 3-6) and younger children (aged 0-3). In addition, no differences were found between children’s race and ethnicity.

Scientific Parenting Tips Tips

  • Shared book reading has benefits for the psychosocial functioning of both parents and children. Read with your children as early as possible.
  • Enjoy the shared reading sessions with your child!

More Information Scientific Parenting Tips More information

Xie, Q. W., Chan, C. H., Ji, Q., & Chan, C. L. (2018). Psychosocial effects of parent-child book reading interventions: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 141(4), e20172675.

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