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The link between fiction and teenagers’ reading skills: International evidence from the OECD PISA study

Jerrim, JP; Moss, PJG; (2019) The link between fiction and teenagers’ reading skills: International evidence from the OECD PISA study. British Educational Research Journal , 45 (1) pp. 181-200. 10.1002/berj.3498. Green open access

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Abstract

It is well known that children who read more tend to achieve higher scores in academic reading tests. Much less is known, however, about the link between reading different types of text and young people's reading performance. We investigate this issue using the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 database, exploring the association between the frequency with which teenagers read five different types of text (magazines, non‐fiction, fiction, newspapers and comics) and their PISA reading scores. Analysing data from more than 250,000 teenagers from across 35 industrialised countries, we find evidence of a sizeable ‘fiction effect’; young people who read this type of text frequently have significantly stronger reading skills than their peers who do not. In contrast, the same does not hold true for the four other text types. We therefore conclude that encouraging young people to read fiction may be particularly beneficial for their reading skills. Interventions encouraging fiction reading may be especially important for boys from disadvantaged socio‐economic backgrounds, who are less likely to read this text type.

Type: Article
Title: The link between fiction and teenagers’ reading skills: International evidence from the OECD PISA study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/berj.3498
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.34988
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: fiction, gender, PISA, reading
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10061478
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