Bright Start TN Clearinghouse

Measure Of Success

Reading with Children

The major indicator for this measure of success is the percent of families that reported reading to their children every day during a typical week.

Reading to children at a young age can significantly improve a child’s reading, linguistic and cognitive abilities in later years, including performance in reading comprehension, vocabulary, and numeracy and math, as well as their internal motivation to read. Parent-child shared reading experiences are associated with the child having higher engagement with their parent, being more attentive during play, and having less negativity towards their parent at preschool age. Parent-child reading may also enhance a child’s social emotional development.

  • Niklas et al_2016_The Sooner the Better: Early Reading to Children: Study of 104 preschool children in Australia. Followed up with linguistic cognitive assessments at kindergarten entry in 2014. Examined how the age at which  parent(s) began reading to their children affected the child’s cognitive skills in later years. Cognitive and linguistic measures included verbal comprehension, rhyming, concept formation, concentration, and numeracy. Findings showed that children who were read to at an earlier age displayed significantly higher abilities in rhyming, verbal comprehension and concept formation.
  • Demir-Lira_2019_Parents’ Early Book Reading to Children: Analysis of 55 parent-child dyads in Chicago. Parent-child interaction was observed when children were ages 14-58 months old and outcomes were measured when children were in 2nd through 4th grade. Found that parent book utterance with children in their early years significantly predicted a child’s performance in reading comprehension, vocabulary, math problems, as well as their internal motivation to read later in elementary school. However, the study did not find that parent-child reading predicted external motivation to read, math calculation abilities, or reading decoding abilities.
  • Kalb and Ours_2013_Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life?: Longitudinal Australian study of over 4,000 (Exact #?) children ages 4-5, followed through age 10-11 from 2003 to 2004. Compares children who were read to 0-5 days per week to children who were read to 6-7 days per week. Studied effect of parent-child reading on children’s cognitive, physical and social-emotional skills. Specifically measures competencies in language, reading, and numeracy. Results showed that reading to children at ages 4 and 5 has significant, positive effects for children’s cognitive and reading competencies by ages 10 and 11. Reading more frequently per week had similar effects on reading and cognitive outcomes as being older in age.
  • Baker_2013_Fathers’ and Mothers’ Home Literacy Involvement: Longitudinal analysis of 5,190 children aged 24 months through preschool using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort. Evaluated the role of parent home literacy involvement (i.e., activities such as shared book reading and number of books at home) when the child was 24 months old across measures of cognitive and social emotional development when the child was in preschool. Specifically, math and reading test scores were used to assess cognitive skills. Social emotional development was assessed by a child’s engagement of their parent(s), child’s sustained attention during play, and child’s negativity towards their parent(s). Found that children whose parents had more frequent home literacy involvement scored higher in reading and math than children whose parents who had less frequent home literacy involvement. Finally, found that children whose parents had higher home literacy involvement were significantly more likely to exhibit engagement and attention with their parents during play, and were significantly less likely to show negativity towards their parents.
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