Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Books in the House Benefit Children, Study Shows
Nurse Reading to a Little Girl, Mary Cassatt, 1895
A fascinating international study shows that children who grow up in homes that have home libraries are much more likely to do well in school. The study encompassed 27 countries. “Home library size has a very substantial effect on educational attainment, even adjusting for parents’ education, father’s occupational status and other family background characteristics,” reports the study, recently published in the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. “A child from a family rich in books is 19 percentage points more likely to complete university than a comparable child growing up without a home library.”
As noted by a report on the study by Tom Jacobs: "This effect holds true regardless of a nation’s wealth, culture or political system, but its intensity varies from country to country. In China, a child whose parents own 500 books will average 6.6 more years of education than a comparable child from a bookless home. In the U.S., the figure is 2.4 years — which is still highly significant when you consider it’s the difference between two years of college and a full four-year degree."
This research relates somewhat to my hunch that the higher the quality of books a child reads the more productive they may be in later life.
You can read the abstract of the home library study here, and I first learned about it here.