Objective: Attitudes about shared reading among at-risk mothers of newborn babies have not been the focus of previous study. Better understanding of factors associated with these attitudes would facilitate pediatricians' provision of anticipatory guidance. We sought to assess sociodemographic correlates of attitudes regarding and resources available for shared reading among multiethnic, low socioeconomic status (SES) mothers of newborns.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional analysis of consecutive mother-infant dyads enrolled during the postpartum period onto an urban public hospital. Dependent variables were attitudes and resources related to shared reading with infants. Independent variables were family sociodemographics, reading difficulties, and social risks.
Results: A total of 211 mother-newborn dyads were assessed; 23.7% reported not planning to look at books together until 12 months or later, 42.2% reported no baby books in the home, and 19.9% reported concerns about shared reading. In multiple logistic regression analyses, independent significant associations with not planning to share books together in infancy were lower maternal education, not speaking English, and firstborn. Independent significant associations of not having baby books were not speaking English, firstborn, and perceived difficulty reading in their native language.
Conclusions: Many at-risk mothers of newborn babies do not report plans to read in infancy and do not have appropriate books in the home. Consideration should be given to universal provision of early anticipatory guidance addressing shared reading, either during the postpartum period or during initial well-child care visits.