Longitudinal Study Reports That Reading for Pleasure Has Life Long Effects

Longitudinal studies require effort but they have dramatic pay-offs. A new study out of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the University of London's Institute of Education is one such study. The study's authors, Sullivan and Brown (see below), managed to answer the question, 'Does reading increase people's vocabularies between the ages of 16 and 42?" (p. 5). They used a sample that had been surveyed since birth and wondered about how childhood affected what happened in adulthood. One thing was quite clear, the reading habits of children in childhood had a long-term impact on adult vocabulary development. What is more interesting is that associated with this vocabulary development were indicators like occupational social class and qualifications. Interestingly, what people read also related to their vocabulary development. Unsurprisingly,readers of less challenging texts like tabloids made less vocabulary progres that readers of quality fiction.

The full report can be obtained by Googling the information below:

Sullivan, A. and Brown, M. (2014). Vocabulary from adolescence to middle age. Centre for Longitudinal Studies, 
Institute of Education, University of London.

Girl reading in library
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