Key to Child's Success: Books in the Home

RENO, Nev., May 24 (UPI) — A U.S. sociologist says books in the home are key to a child’s success — whether in China or the United States.

Mariah Evans of the University of Nevada in Reno says books in the parents’ home were more important than the country of residence or parental economic status in determining a child’s educational level.


“The results of this study indicate that getting some books into their homes is an inexpensive way that we can help these children succeed,” Evans says in a statement.

Evans and colleagues conducted a 20-year study of more than 70,000 cases in 27 countries.

The study, published in Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, found being raised in a home with a 500-book library had as great an effect on the level of education attained by a child as having a parent with a university education. Both the home library and a parent’s education propelled a child on average 3.2 years further in education versus a child in a home without books or with parents who have less than three years of higher education.

Evans suggested having as few as 20 books in the home has a significant impact on propelling a child to a higher level of education, but the more books added, the greater the benefit.

“You get a lot of ‘bang for your book,’” she said.

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