Research on Finnish Society (11:2018)

Intergenerational and intragenerational influences on time use on reading

Timo Toivonen
University of Turku

The impact of parents on the reading of children has been studied quite intensively. However, studies from the time use perspective have been rare: how strong is parental influence and how strong is it in comparison with sibling influence? This research focused on this particular question. The general hypothesis was that the power of parental example is strong but also dependent on different characteristics of parent and child. Data came from two recent Finnish time use surveys from the years 1999-2000 and 2009-2010. Households of different-sex parents and two children were included. It was found that time used by the other child on reading was the most important factor in the child’s reading time. However, parents also had a significant influence but often indirectly, for instance, the younger was the child, the stronger was parental influence.

Keywords: cultural capital, educational influence, parental influence, reading of children, sibling influence, time use

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