Research Horizons


Shared Reading Appears to Improve Social-Emotional Health

When parents share reading time with young children, the children become less likely to develop social-emotional problems later, according to a study in Pediatrics co-authored by experts at Cincinnati Children’s.

The study, published Dec. 9, 2021, was led by first author Keith Martin, DO, MS, (now at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) and senior author Kristen Copeland, MD.

The team reviewed electronic medical records for more than 5,000 children aged 30-66 months who presented for well-child, ill, or follow-up visits to the Pediatric Primary Care Center at Cincinnati Children’s between August 2013 and February 2019.

The team found an association between rare or infrequent shared reading and increased risk of social-emotional problems.

“The primary implication of this paper is that reading promotion during primary care visits could improve social-emotional development and related outcomes for young children,” Martin and colleagues say.

Cincinnati Children’s co-authors included Andrew Beck, MD, MPH, Yingying Xu, PhD, Gregory Szumlas, MD, John Hutton, MD, MS, and Clare Crosh, DO.

Related Information:

Listen to a Pediatrics On Call podcast about the paper 

Watch a video abstract from Dr. Martin

These Reading Programs Support Kindergarten Readiness

Learn more about the Reading and Literacy Discovery Center at Cincinnati Children’s

Publication Information
Original title: Shared Reading and Risk of Social-Emotional Problems
Published in: Pediatrics
Publish date: Dec. 9, 2021
Read the Study

Research By

Keith Martin, DO, MS
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Kristen Copeland, MD
Division of General and Community Pediatrics
My research interests include studying how early education settings affect child health.