You do not have JavaScript Enabled on this browser. Please enable it in order to use the full functionality of our website.

EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)
Added Value of Dialogic Parent-Child Book Readings: A Meta-Analysis

Mol, S. E., Bus, A. G., et al. (2008).
Early Education & Development, 19(1), 7-26.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication No
Included studies are assessed for study quality No
Quality assessments are reproducible N/A

Description: This is a meta-analysis of published and unpublished original, quantitative research investigating the effects of an interactive book reading intervention, dialogic parent-child reading, on the vocabulary skills of preschool and elementary-aged children.

Question(s) Addressed:

  1. Does dialogic reading intensify the effects of parent-child picture storybook sharing, and how strong is the additional effect of dialogic reading?
  2. Does dialogic reading affect expressive language skills more strongly than receptive language skills?
  3. Is the strength of the association between dialogic reading and outcome measures related to the age at which the intervention started?
  4. Is dialogic reading as strongly related to outcome measures in samples of young children at risk for language and literacy impairments as in samples of children not at risk?
  5. Were stronger effect sizes revealed by the group who started this line of research than other researchers replicating this study?

Population: Mean age ranged from 28 to 70 months

Intervention/Assessment: Dialogic reading versus "reading-as-usual" control group

Number of Studies Included: 16

Years Included: 1988 - March 2007



  • Treatment
    • Language
      • Reading, Interactive Book Reading, Dialogic Reading
        • Children participating in the dialogic reading program demonstrated a moderate effect for improved expressive vocabulary (effect size = .58) compared to control. However, the size of treatment effect was substantially reduced for older children (4-years) and children at risk for language and literacy problems.
        • "...the present set of studies suggests that dialogic reading can change the home literacy activities of 2- to 3-year-old children but not those of families with children at greatest risk of school failure" (p. 23).

Keywords: Literacy, Parent-Mediated Intervention

Access the Review

Added to Compendium: December 2011

ASHA Corporate Partners