Parental bookreading practices among families in the Netherlands
Bookreading has proven to be beneficial for children's language and literacy development (e.g. Bus, Van Ijzendoorn and Pellegrini, 1995; Fletcher and Reese, 2005; Mol and Bus, 2011a). Families in Western countries are often advised to read to their young children, and many parents appear to be aware of the positive effects of bookreading. However, little is known about bookreading patterns among families in the Netherlands. In this study, we analysed the bookreading behaviours of 464 parents with children aged 0-12 residing in the Netherlands, as well as the reading behaviours of 275 children aged 8-12 years. The results demonstrate that 60% of parents read daily to their children. Parental education was significantly related to bookreading frequency but home language was not. Fathers were the primary reader in only 8% of families compared to 65% for mothers. Parents did not read for long periods of time: 40% of parents reported reading between 5 and 10 minutes and another 40% read from 10 to 15 minutes. Almost half of the children in this study reported reading at least once a day and a quarter read between 15 and 20 minutes a day. This study provides more insights into bookreading patterns among Dutch families. Although many families already report reading to their children, there is still room for improvement regarding the length of reading and paternal bookreading.
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