This meta-analysis, published in Educational Research Review, explores whether shared reading interventions are equally effective across a range of study designs, across a range of different outcome variables, and for children from different socioeconomic status (SES) groups.
Studies were included in the meta-analysis if they met the following criteria:
- Must contain a universal and/or targeted shared book reading intervention.
- Must include at least one control group.
- Participants must be typically developing children ages seven years or younger.
- Must not target multilingual populations and/or the acquisition of an additional language.
- Must isolate the variable of interest (shared book reading).
- Must report on objective quantitative measure of language ability.
- Must provide sufficient data to calculate the effect size.
The results suggest that shared reading had an overall effect size of +0.19 on children’s language development. They also show that this effect was moderated by the type of control group used and was near zero in studies with active control groups (ES = +0.03). The meta-analysis also shows no differences across outcome variables or for SES.
Source: The impact of shared book reading on children’s language skills: A meta-analysis (September 2019), Educational Research Review, Volume 28