College of DuPage Nursing Student Matthew Ideler shared with Healthy Lombard that a longitudinal study on the topic of how reading impacts children by Mak & Fancourt, (2020) published in Social Science and Medicine demonstrated the effects of reading for pleasure and how it affected children on a long-term basis. The initial data was taken when the child was seven years and the ending time of study completion occurred when the children were eleven years of age.
The methods used to determine how much a child read for fun were, “not at all, less often than once a month, once or twice a month, once or twice a week, several times a week, and every day or almost every day”
According to the results of the study, there is no correlation between reading for pleasure and development of emotional problems later in life.
Children who read almost every day were found to exhibit more prosocial behavior (behavior that benefits others or a community). However, the study also found that these same children at age seven would have slight non-disclosed peer problems by age eleven.
The study also found that children who read on ‘most days’ at the age of seven had fewer issues with hyperactivity and inactivity by the age of eleven than those who read less frequently during the week.
The findings of this study demonstrated that children who read most days for pleasure tend to exhibit a better behavioral adjustment by the time they reach adolescence.