Magazine article Work & Family Life

Big Gains Globally for Kids with Books at Home

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Big Gains Globally for Kids with Books at Home

Article excerpt

The presence of books in the home has a greater influence on a child's level of education than their parents' income, nationality or level of education, according to an international research team led by Mariah Evans, PhD, a sociologist at the University of Nevada-Reno.

"The relationship is strong, clear and statistically significant in every one of the 42 nations we studied," Dr. Evans says.

Her research team examined data from the Program for International Student Assessment, a project of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

Researchers found that it is not a matter of how many books a family already has. It need not be a huge collection. "But each addition to the home library helps children do better," says Dr. Evans. "What's more, the effect was consistent in both rich and poor nations, in countries with economic systems leaning toward capitalism and socialism, and in Asia as well as Europe and the Americas."

The team concluded that a home with books as "an integral part of the way of life" encourages kids to read for pleasure and encourages discussion among family members about what they have read. …

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