Cambridge Study: Reading for fun as children leads to happier tweens and teens
A new Cambridge study shows that encouraging young children to read for fun leads to better adjusted tweens and teens
The study highlights the positive effects of early childhood reading for pleasure on neurological development. 10,000 children took part in the research which examined the associations between reading habits, cognitive abilities, mental wellbeing, and brain structure.
Brains exhibit improved structural connectivity
The findings show that children who engage in reading for pleasure from a young age experience enhanced neurological development. Specifically, their brains exhibit improved structural connectivity in areas associated with language and cognition. This suggests that reading for pleasure positively influences information processing and neural development, setting a strong foundation for cognitive abilities.
An alternative to excessive screen use
Promoting early reading habits can lead to a reduction in screen time. By encouraging children to engage in reading activities, parents and educators can provide an alternative to excessive screen use. This shift away from screens has numerous benefits, such as improved focus, reduced exposure to potentially harmful content, and enhanced mental wellbeing. Children who regularly read for pleasure demonstrate lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. Reading provides a source of relaxation, escapism, and emotional support.
To harness these benefits, it is crucial for parents and educators to foster a reading culture from an early age. Providing access to age-appropriate books, creating reading-friendly environments, and engaging in shared reading activities can help develop a love for reading and support neurological development.
Read the original study here: https://www.cambridge.org