Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Article

Creating Practical Primary Care Supports for Parent-Child Relationships: Language, Literacy, and Love

Klass, P., Navsaria, D. (2021) Creating Practical Primary Care Supports for Parent-Child Relationships-Language, Literacy, and Love. JAMA Pediatrics, 175(5), 452-453.,

Access: Institutional Access

Publication year


study description


core topic(s)

Early Relational Health , Shared Reading

Exposures, Outcomes, Other

Child Development (general) , Clinic-Based Programs and Interventions , COVID-19 and Pandemic Impact , Parent-Child Relationships/Interactions , Positive Parenting , Social-Emotional


To discuss shared reading as an intervention to support parent-child relationships and development through pediatric primary care.


Shared reading.

outcomes evaluated

Positive parenting and childhood development.


Pediatric primary care.


Topics Discussed: Learning and development through relationships; Coronavirus pandemic; Pediatrics Supporting Parents initiative; Interventions supporting parental involvement to promote cognitive development; Literacy promotion as a scaled intervention and a practical platform in pediatric primary care settings; Clinical promotion of reading aloud.




Young children learn and develop primarily through contingent interactions and strong foundational relationships; this is true of language and, more generally, cognitive and socioemotional development. Separate domains have great utility for screening, assessment, and referral, since isolated delays can point to specific diagnoses and therapies. In other respects it is difficult (and sometimes artificial) to separate cognitive from socioemotional, given the complex overlays of cause and effect and the essential role that interactions and language play throughout. Healthy mental, emotional, and behavioral development in young children reflects—and requires—secure attachment and stable foundational relationships with adult caregivers, including the emotional responsiveness and positive parenting behaviors that also result in the kinds of positive language-rich interactions that stimulate language and cognitive development. Now, with the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic stressing families, strategies to strengthen and support those relationships and behaviors on a population scale are critical.


Through strategic partnerships, screening and referral, and direct services for parents and children at increased risk, pediatric primary care can build on the already welcome presence of books and stories in the clinic to enhance the life stories of children and families.


Not discussed.