Reading with toddlers reduces harsh parenting, enhances child behavior

May 23, 2019

People who regularly read with their toddlers are less likely to engage in harsh parenting and the children are less likely to be hyperactive or disruptive, a Rutgers-led study finds.

Previous studies have shown that frequent shared reading prepares children for school by building language, literacy and emotional skills, but the study by Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School researchers may be the first to focus on how shared reading affects parenting.

The study, published along with a video abstract in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, suggests additional benefits from shared reading -- a stronger parent-child bond and less hyperactivity and attention problems in children.

"For parents, the simple routine of reading with your child on a daily basis provides not just academic but emotional benefits that can help bolster the child's success in school and beyond," said lead researcher Manuel Jimenez, an assistant professor at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School's department of pediatrics, and an attending developmental behavioral pediatrician at Children's Specialized Hospital. "Our findings can be applied to programs that help parents and caregivers in underserved areas to develop positive parenting skills."

The study reviewed data on 2,165 mother-child pairs from 20 large U.S. cities in which the women were asked how often they read to their children at ages 1 and or 3. The mothers were re-interviewed two years later, about how often they engaged in physically and/or psychologically aggressive discipline and about their children's behavior. The study controlled for factors such as parental depression and financial hardship that can contribute to harsh parenting and children's disruptive behavior.

The results showed that frequent shared reading at age 1 was associated with less harsh parenting at age 3, and frequent shared reading at age 3 was associated with less harsh parenting at age 5. Mothers who read frequently with their children also reported fewer disruptive behaviors from their children, which may partially explain the reduction in harsh parenting behaviors.

The findings can strengthen programs that promote the academic, emotional and socioeconomic wellbeing of children, the authors said.
-end-
Co-authors included Yong Lin, a professor at Rutgers School of Public Health; Patricia Shelton, a clinical research assistant at the Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; and researchers at New York University School of Medicine/Bellevue Hospital Center, the University of Toronto's Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and Princeton University.

Rutgers University

Related Behavior Articles from Brightsurf:

Variety in the migratory behavior of blackcaps
The birds have variable migration strategies.

Fishing for a theory of emergent behavior
Researchers at the University of Tsukuba quantified the collective action of small schools of fish using information theory.

How synaptic changes translate to behavior changes
Learning changes behavior by altering many connections between brain cells in a variety of ways all at the same time, according to a study of sea slugs recently published in JNeurosci.

I won't have what he's having: The brain and socially motivated behavior
Monkeys devalue rewards when they anticipate that another monkey will get them instead.

Unlocking animal behavior through motion
Using physics to study different types of animal motion, such as burrowing worms or flying flocks, can reveal how animals behave in different settings.

AI to help monitor behavior
Algorithms based on artificial intelligence do better at supporting educational and clinical decision-making, according to a new study.

Increasing opportunities for sustainable behavior
To mitigate climate change and safeguard ecosystems, we need to make drastic changes in our consumption and transport behaviors.

Predicting a protein's behavior from its appearance
Researchers at EPFL have developed a new way to predict a protein's interactions with other proteins and biomolecules, and its biochemical activity, merely by observing its surface.

Spirituality affects the behavior of mortgagers
According to Olga Miroshnichenko, a Sc.D in Economics, and a Professor at the Department of Economics and Finance, Tyumen State University, morals affect the thinking of mortgage payers and help them avoid past due payments.

Asking if behavior can be changed on climate crisis
One of the more complex problems facing social psychologists today is whether any intervention can move people to change their behavior about climate change and protecting the environment for the sake of future generations.

Read More: Behavior News and Behavior Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.