Pleasure Reading Offers Educational, Social, and Personal Benefits for Young Teenagers

Ann Medaille

Abstract


Objective – To investigate the role that pleasure reading plays in the lives of young teenagers.

Design – A series of focus groups were used.

Setting – Focus groups were held in nine junior high schools in an eastern Canadian municipality.

Subjects – Participants consisted of 68 students in grades 7, 8, and 9, ranging in age from 12-15 years old. Seventy percent of participants were girls and 30% were boys.

Methods – A semi-structured interview protocol was used. Responses were coded and categorized by using QSR NUD*IST, and a grounded theory approach was used to analyze the data.

Main Results – This study found that young teenagers derive numerous benefits from pleasure reading. From an educational perspective, pleasure reading helps improve literacy and thinking skills, and helps young teenagers clarify and explore career goals. From a social perspective, pleasure reading helps young teenagers understand historical and current events, helps them develop compassion and empathy, empowers them to develop and act on their beliefs, and helps them to understand the consequences of risky behaviors. From a personal perspective, pleasure reading provides young teenagers with entertainment, relaxation, reassurance, a creative outlet, and a means of escape.

Conclusion – Reading for pleasure provides a means of everyday life information seeking for young teenagers. It helps them improve skills and learn about themselves, their relationships, and their values, all of which help them to make the transition to adulthood.

Keywords


pleasure reading; teenagers

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