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Areas of Research:

Family Book Sharing illustrated graphic

Family Book-Sharing Practices as a Context for Child Development

Area Summary:

We have conducted two studies examining how parents combine reading from the text and extra-textual talk in book-sharing contexts and how socio-cultural factors influence these practices. The first study involved a sample of Guatemalan Mayan parents and their first-grade children. The second study involved a sample of mother-toddler dyads in New York City (U.S.), Chennai (India) and Muenster (Germany). Together, the studies indicate that the book-sharing styles parents adopt are related to children's verbal contributions and that parents' goals and expectations (which are particular to their communities) relate to the likelihood of adopting certain book-sharing styles.

Book Reading Interventions:


  • Dr. Antje von Suchodoletz - Assistant Professor of Psychology at New York University - Abu Dhabi
  • Dr. Joscha Kaertner - Professor of Psychology at WWU Munster
  • Dr. Ana Nieto - Lego Foundation (previously at Harvard University)
  • Dr. Hirokazu Yoshikawa - Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University

Funded by:

  • New York University, Abu Dhabi - University Research Fund (awarded to A. von Suchodoletz)
  • Patrice L. Engle Dissertation grant for Global Early Child Development from SRCD (awarded to A. Nieto)
  • Harvard University- David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (awarded to A. Nieto)

Related Publications:

  1. Leyva, D., von Suchodoletz, A., Doering, E., Shroff, D., Hinojo, A., & Kartner, J. (2021). Maternal book-sharing styles and goals and children's verbal contributions in three communities. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 54, 228-238. doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2020.09.010
  2. Nieto, A., Leyva, D., & Yoshikawa, H. (2018). Sharing is reading: Guatemalan Mayan book-sharing styles and their relation to parents' schooling and children's narrative contribution. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 47, 405-417. doi: 101016/j.ecrq.2018.08.006.

In the news

September, 2017

Diana Leyva is featured in a local public television program in Colombia on "La importancia de la familia en el desarrollo de los niños" [The importance of families in the development of children]" Source