Children’s leisure reading is linked to mental ability

Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown (2013) investigate the extent to which a young person’s social background affects ability in vocabulary, spelling and mathematics. Using data from a nationally-representative cohort of people born in Britain in 1970 who took tests at age 16, Sullivan & Brown explore:

  • how inequalities in performance due to social background vary across the three domains of vocabulary, spelling and mathematics; and
  • to what extent these inequalities are accounted for by family material and cultural resources, as well as by children’s own reading.

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