Study finds link between deprivation and not reading

March 12, 2014 by Jo Maxwell, University of Sheffield
Study finds link between deprivation and not reading

The nationwide study, commissioned by Booktrust, reveals worrying indications that the UK is divided into two nations.

The 'page turners' – those who daily or weekly and reap the benefits that books offer – make up 50 per cent of the population. Across the cultural divide, the 'button pushers', who prefer activities such as watching TV and DVDs, make up 45 per cent.

The study indicates links between deprivation and not reading books– those who never read live in more deprived areas, with a higher proportion of children living in poverty. Those who read less are also more likely to be male, under 30, and have lower levels of qualifications, happiness, and satisfaction within their lives.

Viv Bird, Chief Executive of Booktrust, said: "This research indicates that frequent readers are more likely to be satisfied with life, happier and more successful in their professional lives. But there is a worrying cultural divide linked to deprivation. There will never be a one size fits all solution when it comes to social mobility, but reading plays an important role – more action is needed to support families."

Led by Professor Cathy Nutbrown from the University of Sheffield's School of Education, the research suggests that there are strong indicators of the importance of literacy, reading, and writing, among other factors, in contributing to positive social mobility. The study also suggests that reading 'rubs off' in the home, with families playing a crucial role in fostering a love of reading.

At the launch of the research findings today (11 March 2014), academics from the University attended a conference organised by Booktrust, an organisation which promotes the lifelong benefits of reading and writing, in a bid to kick start a national conversation about improving social mobility by encouraging reading earlier and more often.

Booktrust commissioned the University's School of Education to investigate the historical relationship between attitudes to reading and writing and . The review draws on a range of literature, archive material, family interviews and data gathered using social media to explore this issue.

Explore further: Family literacy project exceeds expectations

Related Stories

Family literacy project exceeds expectations

September 6, 2012
A unique approach to early literacy work with families where children develop their language skills and their ability to read and write from an early age has had a huge success.

Literacy depends on nurture, not nature, education professor says

November 14, 2013
A University at Buffalo education professor has sided with the environment in the timeless "nurture vs. nature" debate after his research found that a child's ability to read depends mostly on where that child is born, rather ...

Shared family activities may boost preschoolers' emotional health

March 6, 2014
(HealthDay)—Taking part in family activities on a regular basis benefits the social and emotional health of young children, a new study finds.

Recommended for you

Intensive behavior therapy no better than conventional support in treating teenagers with antisocial behavior

January 19, 2018
Research led by UCL has found that intensive and costly multisystemic therapy is no better than conventional therapy in treating teenagers with moderate to severe antisocial behaviour.

Babies' babbling betters brains, language

January 18, 2018
Babies are adept at getting what they need - including an education. New research shows that babies organize mothers' verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction, and infant babbling is the key.

College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

January 18, 2018
In recent years, major beer companies have tried to capitalize on the salience of students' university affiliations, unveiling marketing campaigns and products—such as "fan cans," store displays, and billboard ads—that ...

Inherited IQ can increase in early childhood

January 18, 2018
When it comes to intelligence, environment and education matter – more than we think.

Modulating molecules: Study shows oxytocin helps the brain to modulate social signals

January 17, 2018
Between sights, sounds, smells and other senses, the brain is flooded with stimuli on a moment-to-moment basis. How can it sort through the flood of information to decide what is important and what can be relegated to the ...

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.