Factors Associated With Increased Reading Frequency in Children Exposed to Reach Out and Read

Acad Pediatr. 2015 Nov-Dec;15(6):651-7. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2015.08.008. Epub 2015 Sep 26.


Objective: A 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on Literacy Promotion recommends providers endorse daily caregiver-child reading during health supervision visits. Reach Out and Read (ROR) is a widely used model of office-based early literacy promotion. We hypothesized that exposure to ROR and other variables such as reading as part of a bedtime routine positively correlate with caregiver-child reading frequency.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study based on a convenience sample of caregivers at 8 ROR-Milwaukee sites, which serve predominantly low-income populations in Milwaukee. On the basis of results of previously validated questionnaires, odds ratios were calculated to determine which variables are significantly associated with caregivers' reading to children 0 to 2 (rarely), 3 to 6 (often), and 7 (daily) days per week. Random forest analysis was performed to examine relative importance of variables in predicting caregivers' reading frequency.

Results: A total of 256 caregivers were eligible for analysis; those who reported receiving ≥4 books from pediatricians read to children more days per week compared to those receiving fewer books (5.07 vs 3.61, P < .001) and were more likely to read daily (odds ratio 3.07, 95% confidence interval 1.80-5.23). Caregivers' interest in reading, number of children's books in the home, reading as part of a bedtime routine, and number of books received from pediatricians were among the most important variables in distinguishing rarely, often, and daily reading caregivers.

Conclusions: Exposure to ROR-Milwaukee's intervention is associated with increased reading frequency. Identified variables such as reading as a bedtime routine and number of children's books in the home should be targets for future literacy-promoting interventions.

Keywords: literacy; pediatrics; primary care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Literacy*
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Parents*
  • Poverty
  • Reading*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wisconsin