A meta-analysis conducted by Claire Noble and colleagues explores the impact of shared reading interventions (where an adult reads with a child) on children’s language skills, and whether they are equally effective across a range of different outcome variables, for children from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and across a range of study designs.
The analysis included 54 studies conducted between 1989 and 2017. These studies included 316 effect sizes and 5,569 participants. Nine of the studies reported follow-up effects. Children in the studies were typically age 7 years or younger.
Their findings suggest that,
- While there is an effect of shared reading on language development, the effect size is smaller than suggested in previous meta-analyses (ES = +0.23).
- Also, the effect size is moderated by the type of control groups, and when compared to active control groups, is closer to zero (ES = +0.04).
- In addition, the meta-analysis indicates only modest differences between types of language outcome, no effect for socioeconomic background, and a near-zero effect at follow-up.
However, given the low dosage of many of the studies included in the meta-analysis, the authors caution against the conclusion that shared reading interventions have no real effect on children’s language development.
Source (Open Access): Noble, C., Sala, G., Lowe, M., Lingwood, J., Rowland, C. F., Gobet, F., & Pine, J. (2018, October 14). The impact of shared book reading on children’s language skills: A meta-analysis. https://psyarxiv.com/cu7bk/