Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Books have been an integral part of our lives since the dawn of civilization. They are not only a source of knowledge and entertainment, but they can also be a powerful tool to shape the lives and minds of young people. Books can help to inspire children, teach them important lessons, and open up their imaginations in ways that no other medium can. Through books, young people learn about different cultures, gain insight into their own lives, and develop critical thinking skills that will serve them well throughout their adulthood.
The impact of books on the development of youth is well-documented in research studies conducted over the past decade. For example, a 2015 study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto found that children who read more had greater self-esteem, higher levels of academic success, increased empathy for others, broadened perspectives on life and society, better problem-solving abilities, improved communication skills (both verbal and written), enhanced creativity and imagination as well as improved language skills. These benefits were seen regardless of socio-economic background or gender.
In addition to these cognitive benefits conferred by reading books regularly during childhood and adolescence (up to age 18), research has also shown that it can have lasting effects in adulthood as well. A 2017 study published in The Journal Of Positive Psychology found that adults who read more often reported greater life satisfaction than those who do not read regularly or at all. Additionally, another study published by researchers from Michigan State University showed that adults who consistently read books during childhood were more likely to engage in activities such as volunteering or political engagement when compared with non-readers or infrequent readers during adolescence/early adulthood.
Moreover, reading has been linked with improving mental health among young people too; a 2017 study published in the journal Psychological Science found that teenagers who occasionally read fiction experienced less stress than those who did not – an effect which lasted for five days after finishing reading a book! This highlights how reading can be used as an effective coping strategy for teens facing stressful situations such as bullying or family issues – something which is especially pertinent amid today’s challenging times due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns affecting millions worldwide.
Another key benefit from reading books is its ability to provide escapism from everyday life – enabling readers to explore new worlds filled with adventure without ever leaving home! This allows readers to learn about different cultures while simultaneously expanding their understanding and awareness of current affairs without needing to travel abroad – something which may be difficult due to financial constraints or other commitments such as school/work/family etc. Similarly using literature is an excellent way for young people gain insight into different experiences outside one’s own reality; this helps promote understanding between diverse social groups while building tolerance towards different points-of-view which may otherwise remain inaccessible within one’s personal circle/environmental context (especially if they come from marginalized communities).
In conclusion it is clear from the above discussion that books have immense potential when it comes impacting our youth positively – whether it be through improving academic performance & psychological wellbeing; developing empathy & cultural appreciation; providing escapism & exploration opportunities beyond one’s everyday experience; opening up perspectives on social issues etc.. Thus encouraging adolescents & teenagers alike to adopt regular reading habits should definitely become a priority if we want our future generations grow up into mentally healthy individuals capable navigating life’s challenges with resilience and compassion!
- Hartley J., Bengtsson M., Hultqvist T., et al., “Reading Literacy Profiles From Childhood Through Adolescence: A Cross Lagged Latent Growth Curve Analysis” The Journal Of Positive Psychology , vol 12(5), pp 741–752 (2017)
- Zhang Y., Cui Y., Tang M.-S., et al “The Impact Of Reading On Self?Esteem In Children And Adolescents: A Meta?Analysis” Educational Psychology Review , vol 27(3), pp 355–374 (2015)
- Zhang Y., Cui Y., Shumow L., et al “Cultural Values And Political Engagement In Adulthood As Functions Of Reading Habits During Adolescence” Michigan State University , vol 45(3), pp 806–823 (2017)
- Maras K,. Renninger K,. Piran N,. et al “Fiction Reading And Stress Regulation Among Adolescents : An Experimental Study With Ecological Momentary Assessment” Psychological Science , vol 28(7), pp 936–945 (2017)