Do children and young people have reading role models? If so, do these role models come from their immediate social environment? Or are more distant ones, such as celebrities, also influential?
We addressed these questions in an online survey of 2,176 seven to 15-year-olds, which we conducted in November/December 2008. They were asked in a wider survey about role models: who they are and what qualities children and young people are looking.
Children and young people were asked about their reading habits and reading enjoyment, as well as about their notions of success and the types of attributes that they would look for in a role model. Questions were asked about the types of figures that could inspire reading, and how this could be done - for example, by suggesting reading materials, writing their own materials for others to read, reading by example or explaining why reading is important.
The findings were then examined according to age, gender, socio-economic background (determined by free school meals – FSM) and whether they enjoyed reading (readers and non-readers).