Andersen & Nielsen, 2016: Educating parents about developing reading abilities increased reading and writing test performance among second-grade students over seven months, especially when parents thought their children were good or bad at reading
Parents of second-grade children in Denmark were taught about (1) a growth mindset about children’s reading abilities (“that their child’s reading ability can be improved, no matter whether that child is already good or bad at reading”) and (2) the benefits of a mastery-oriented approach to reading with children (“talk to the child about the content…pose open questions…take time to answer the child’s questions”). They were also (3) encouraged to praise children’s efforts rather their performance, by completing a logbook noting every reading session. In addition, those in the treatment received three books to get started and were encouraged to read with their child. As compared to a randomized control group, children in the treatment group showed greater gains in reading test performance 2 and 7 months later and greater gains in writing test performance 7 months later, with benefits for children of both Danish and immigrant backgrounds, with both mothers high and low in education. The greatest benefits were observed among children whose parents endorsed a fixed mindset more at baseline.