Who's reading to children in low‐income families? The influence of paternal, maternal and child characteristics
Most research on parental bookreading has focused on mothers reading to their children. This study examined bookreading practices among approximately 800 fathers and mothers in low‐income families. We looked at differences and similarities between families where both parents read frequently compared to families where only mothers read frequently. In more than a third of the low‐income families in this study, both parents reported reading to their young children on a regular basis (daily or weekly). Parents who were higher educated, who had girls and who had children with better language and cognitive skills were more likely to read frequently to their children. Intervention efforts to increase reading in the home to toddlers and preschoolers in low‐income families should be targeted at fathers, a relatively under‐tapped resource, and should focus on families in which parents have lower levels of education and those whose children have less advanced cognitive and language skills.