The longitudinal study Growing Up in Ireland found that cultural participation – which includes reading for pleasure – increases both academic performance and socio-emotional well-being for participating young people.
Dr Alice Sullivan talks about her UK research exploring the benefits of recreational reading for cognition.
She explains “Of the 17,000 members, 6,000 took a range of cognitive tests at age 16. We compared children from the same social backgrounds who achieved similar tested abilities at ages five and 10, and discovered that those who frequently read books at age 10 and more than once a week when they were 16 had higher test results than those who read less. In other words, reading for pleasure was linked to greater intellectual progress, both in vocabulary, spelling and mathematics. In fact, the impact was around four times greater than that of having a parent with a post-secondary degree.”
You can read more about her research here.