Culture Post: Kids Who Love Reading Have Bigger Brains, Become Happier and Smarter Teens

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by StudyFinds.

Children who are avid readers and will pick up a book just for fun tend to develop into happier and smarter teenagers, a new study reveals. Researchers at the University of Cambridge discovered that reading for 12 hours a week is optimal for youngsters to foster bigger and better brains. The team identified strong links between recreational reading between the ages of two and nine, and performance in memory, speech, verbal learning, and general academic tests.

Moreover, young readers exhibited better mental health, with fewer indicators of stress and depression. They demonstrated improved attention spans and fewer behavioral problems such as aggression and rule-breaking, according to clinical scores and reports from parents and teachers. The team also found that these children slept longer and spent less time looking at screens.

However, almost half of the 10,000 teenagers studied had minimal exposure to reading for pleasure or did not start reading for fun until later in their childhood. The remaining 52 percent — according to the research conducted by the University of Warwick, Fudan University in China, and the University of Cambridge — spent between three and ten years reading for enjoyment.

The study was published in Psychological Medicine.

Source: StudyFinds

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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