Psychosocial Effects of Parent-Child Book Reading Interventions: A Meta-analysis.

Xie QW, Chan CHY, Ji Q, Chan CLW.

CONTEXT: Parent-child book reading (PCBR) is effective at improving young
children's language, literacy, brain, and cognitive development. The psychosocial
effects of PCBR interventions are unclear.
OBJECTIVE: To systematically review and synthesize the effects of PCBR
interventions on psychosocial functioning of children and parents.
DATA SOURCES: We searched ERIC, PsycINFO, Medline, Embase, PubMed, Applied Social
Sciences Index and Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts, 
Family and Society Studies Worldwide, and Social Work Abstracts. We hand searched
references of previous literature reviews.
STUDY SELECTION: Randomized controlled trials.
DATA EXTRACTION: By using a standardized coding scheme, data were extracted
regarding sample, intervention, and study characteristics.
RESULTS: We included 19 interventions (3264 families). PCBR interventions
improved the psychosocial functioning of children and parents compared with
controls (standardized mean difference: 0.185; 95% confidence interval: 0.077 to 
0.293). The assumption of homogeneity was rejected (Q = 40.010; P < .01). Two
moderator variables contributed to between-group variance: method of data
collection (observation less than interview; Qb = 7.497; P < .01) and rater
(reported by others less than self-reported; Qb = 21.368; P < .01). There was no 
significant difference between effects of PCBR interventions on psychosocial
outcomes of parents or children (Qb = 0.376; P = .540).
LIMITATIONS: The ratio of moderating variables to the included studies limited
interpretation of the findings.
CONCLUSIONS: PCBR interventions are positively and significantly beneficial to
the psychosocial functioning of both children and parents.