PART 3: CHILDREN'S OUTCOMES - SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIOURAL

Reading as a Leisure Activity

Engagement in reading as a hobby bestows a range of benefits on children and adolescents.39

Measure

The percentage of children aged 15 who report that reading is one of their favourite hobbies.

Key findings

  • In 2006, 42.6% of children aged 15 reported reading as one of their favourite hobbies (see Table 62). This is higher than in 2000, when 35.7% reported reading as one of their favourite hobbies.

Table 62: Percentage of children aged 15 who report that reading is one of their favourite hobbies, by gender and social class (2000 and 2006)

 

2000

2006

Total

35.7

42.6

Gender

 

 

Boys

22.9

32.7

Girls

48.2

52.0

Social class

 

 

High SES

40.7

50.0

Medium SES

35.0

41.8

Low SES

30.8

36.5

Source: PISA Survey

Differences by gender and social class

  • In 2006, the percentage of children who reported reading as one of their favourite hobbies was higher among girls and among children from higher social classes (see Table 62):
    • 52% of girls reported this, compared to 32.7% of boys
    • 50% of children from the highest social class category reported this, compared to 41.8% and 36.5% of children from the medium and lowest social classes respectively.
  • A larger percentage of boys in 2006 (32.7%) than in 2000 (22.9%) reported reading as one of their favourite hobbies and a marginally larger percentage of girls - 52% in 2006 and 48.2% in 2000.

Technical notes
These data are drawn from the PISA surveys of 2000 and 2006. All data presented are drawn from self-report, self-completion questionnaires completed by children in schools. Thus, they may be subject to bias in relation to self-presentation and memory. These measures may suffer from social desirability bias.

This item was only asked in Ireland for the PISA Survey in 2006 and accordingly there are no international data.

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39 OMCYA (2006) State of the Nation's Children: Ireland 2006, Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. Dublin: The Stationery Office. Available at: www.childrensdatabase.ie OR www.omc.gov.ie