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Examining the Links between Parents’ Relationships with Reading and Shared Reading with their Pre-School Children

Levy, Rachael and Hall, Melanie and Preece, Jenny (2018) Examining the Links between Parents’ Relationships with Reading and Shared Reading with their Pre-School Children. International Journal of Educational Psychology, 7 (2). pp. 123-150.

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Abstract

While much is known about the benefits of shared reading activity for children, and the role of the home in cultivating shared reading practices far less is known about the factors that can influence parents’ shared reading practices with their children. Given that many young people leave school with poor relationships with reading, this study explores the links between parents’ own relationships with reading and the shared reading they practice with their own children in the home. Drawing on deep-level interview data, this paper presents data from six parents of pre-school children, who reported that they have had a poor personal relationship with reading. These parents all developed positive shared reading relationships with their children, however the importance of this study lies in understanding the interplay between these reading relationships.  The data strongly suggested that the construct of ‘reading’ was very different from the ways in which reading had previously been defined for these participants. Reading, within a shared reading context, was seen as a very flexible construct which included activities such as talking and telling stories. In some cases, parents’ own relationships with reading seemed to improve. Implications for intervention with other families are discussed.

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