Parents who read with their children when they are still babies can give a boost to their vocabulary and reading skills that lasts for years to come, according to new research presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in the United States recently. Funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health And Human Development in the US, the study recruited more than 250 pairs of mothers and their babies and monitored the childrens literacy skills between the ages of six months and four and a half years. The research team looked at the quantity of shared book-reading between mothers and infants, including the number of books in the home and the number of days per week spent reading together. The team also measured the quality of shared book-reading, by looking at whether the stories were age-appropriate and by asking parents if they had conversations with their child about the book while reading it, such as talking about the books pictures and the emotions of the characters. After taking into account socioeconomic differences, the team found that both the quality and quantity of shared book-reading between parents and children in early infancy had a positive effect on language, vocabulary, and literary skills, with results lasting up to four years later, before the start of elementary school.
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