Predicting shared parent--child book reading in infancy

J Fam Psychol. 2003 Mar;17(1):134-46.


This study examined the degree to which parental contextual factors and infant characteristics predicted whether parents read aloud to their 8-month-old infants. Discriminant function analysis revealed that mothers with higher family incomes and those who reported less parenting stress and fewer general hassles were more likely to read to their infants. Gender and temperament of the infant did not significantly predict whether mothers would engage in shared reading. Furthermore, there was no evidence that mothers who reported reading aloud to their infants display more enriching parenting practices in the laboratory. Paternal contextual factors did not discriminate readers from nonreaders, but infant temperament did. Fathers who read aloud had infants who were less soothable and who displayed longer durations of orienting. The possibility that book reading could serve as 1 mediator of the temperament-cognition relationship is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Father-Child Relations*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Reading*
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Temperament