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Enjoyment of reading and writing linked to better child wellbeing 

25/09/2018

A survey of almost 50,000 UK children and young people by the National Literacy Trust found that children and young people who are the most engaged with reading and writing in their free time have significantly better mental wellbeing than their peers who are the least engaged.

The report, based on a survey of 49,047 UK school children aged 8 to 18, found that children who are the most engaged with reading and writing (i.e. those who enjoy it, do it daily and have positive attitudes towards it) are 3 times more likely to have higher levels of mental wellbeing than children who don’t.

Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be, said:

“Escaping in a good story is not only a great way to cope when you’re feeling stressed or worried, but can also be a fantastic opportunity for children to explore difficult feelings, understand them, and feel less alone.

“We often use characters and stories in our group work in schools to encourage children to explore their own feelings and behaviours. Whether you relate to Harry Potter or the Hulk, if we want to help children to build their resilience and cope with life’s inevitable challenges, spending time with your child and encouraging a love of reading and writing is a good place to start.”

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said:

“Children and young people today face a multitude of pressures at school, at home and in their social lives. It is imperative that we do everything we can to enable our children to develop the resilience they need to cope with life’s challenges – and our latest research shows that the joys of reading and writing can be hugely beneficial.

“Not only does a love of reading and writing enable children to flourish at school, but we now also know it can play a vital role in supporting children to lead happy and healthy lives.”

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