Study: Young Children’s Interest in Reading Relates to Behavior

Posted on September 09, 2011
Preschoolers who enjoy spending time with a good book are more likely to behave better in the classroom, according to research from Purdue University.

Jennifer Dobbs-Oates, an assistant professor of developmental studies, has found there is a relationship between preschoolers’ interest in literacy and their behavior in the classroom. Children who are more interested in literacy-related activities are more likely to show positive, adaptive behaviors than negative, disruptive kinds of behavior. The findings of this study, which focused on 61 predominantly low-income preschoolers ages 3-5, are published in the April edition of Early Child Development and Care.

“A child’s interest in literacy can tell us a lot about that child’s behavior,” said Jennifer Dobbs-Oates, an assistant professor of developmental studies. “We found that the child who is interested in literacy-related activities is more likely to show positive, adaptive behavior than negative, disruptive kinds of behavior. A child’s interest and level of enjoyment is key to this connection, but we also need to learn more about the cause and effect of this relationship.”

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