Tracking the relations between children’s reading and emotional health across time: evidence from four large longitudinal studies

Genevieve McArthur*, Nicholas Badcock, Anne Castles, Serje Robidoux

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

There is good evidence for an association between poor reading and anxiety, but the mechanisms responsible for this association are currently unknown. In this study, we used structural equation modeling of four large longitudinal databases from the United Kingdom (n = 7,870), the United States (ns = 8,001 and 7,160), and Australia (n = 768) to explore relations between reading and emotional health across childhood. We found that emotional health at age 5 was not related to reading at age 7 but that reading at 7 was related to emotional health at age 9 or 11. We also found that reading, behavior, and attention may be related across development. These findings suggest a working hypothesis that poor reading may have an influence on emotional health rather than vice versa.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalReading Research Quarterly
Early online date13 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • childhood
  • at-risk factors
  • cognitive
  • developmental issues
  • developmental theories
  • dyslexia
  • longitudinal analysis
  • methodological perspectives
  • social/behavioral/emotional problems
  • struggling learners
  • theoretical perspectives

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