A1 Journal article (refereed)
Developmental leisure reading profiles and their association with reading skills across Grades 1–9 (2024)

Ulvinen, E., Psyridou, M., Lerkkanen, M.-K., Poikkeus, A.-M., Siekkinen, M., & Torppa, M. (2024). Developmental leisure reading profiles and their association with reading skills across Grades 1–9. Learning and Individual Differences, 109, Article 102387. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2023.102387

The research was funded by Strategic Research Council at the Research Council of Finland.

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsUlvinen, Emmi; Psyridou, Maria; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina; Poikkeus, Anna-Maija; Siekkinen, Martti; Torppa, Minna

Journal or seriesLearning and Individual Differences



Publication year2024

Publication date23/11/2023


Article number102387


Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/92114

Web address of parallel published publication (pre-print)https://osf.io/preprints/psyarxiv/h2byn/


This study examined the developmental profiles of different leisure reading habits and their association with reading fluency and comprehension in 2525 Finnish students from Grade 1 to 9. Four profiles were identified based on the reading frequency of different materials: Comics readers, Online readers, Book readers and Non-readers. Profile differences in leisure reading emerged early, although leisure reading levels changed. Boys were over-represented in the Comics readers and Non-readers, while girls were over-represented in the Online readers and Book readers. Book readers showed the highest level of reading skills, though Comics readers were also above-average readers. Among Online readers, girls had above average skills in reading while boys had below-average skills. Non-readers, especially boys, had the poorest reading skills. The study highlights the emergence of early onset individual differences in leisure reading habits and an association between different kinds of active leisure reading and reading development across grades.

The educational relevance and implications statement
Leisure reading is important as it can contribute to the evolution of a positive or negative cycle of reading development. Our study aimed to identify different leisure reading habits and their development and how these habits connect to reading skills. Our study revealed that there are different leisure reading profiles and that differences in these profiles emerge early. Our results indicate that although active book reading is associated with the best reading skills, other kinds of active reading also connect to above-average reading skills. Passivity in leisure reading is related to the poorest skills in reading.

On the basis of these results, besides book reading, the reading of lighter materials like magazines, newspapers and comics, deserves to be encouraged. This kind of reading is connected to above-average skills and is popular especially among boys, who are at higher risk of ending up as passive leisure readers. Additionally, it might be important to target the reading motivation actions of children before they reach primary school age in the home and kindergarten settings to enhance the adoption of beneficial leisure reading habits before these are established.

Keywordsreadingreading comprehensionliteracypupilsreaders (role)leisurereading habitslongitudinal research

Free keywordsleisure reading; developmental profiles; reading fluency; reading comprehension; longitudinal study

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Ministry reportingYes

Preliminary JUFO rating3

Last updated on 2023-13-12 at 09:48