Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Article

Impacts of a Personalized Book Giveaway Intervention in Low-SES Households

Mendive, S., Placencio-Castro, M., Strasser, K., Kucirkova, N., Pozo-Tapia, F., Domínguez, P. (2023) Impacts of a Personalized Book Giveaway Intervention In Low-SES Households. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 63, 169-180.,

Access: Institutional Access

Publication year


study description

Randomized Controlled Trial

core topic(s)

Shared Reading

Population Characteristics

International , Poverty/Low-Income , Toddler/Preschool

Exposures, Outcomes, Other

Parent Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs , Parent-Child Relationships/Interactions , Programs and Interventions (other) , Reading Frequency


To assess impacts of a personalized book giveaway intervention in low-SES households.


Personalized book giveaway intervention

outcomes evaluated

Parent perceptions of, child interest in, and parent-child engagement during books/reading


Chilean families, recruited from childcare centers serving low-income families


This study reports whether a personalized book giveaway intervention boosts both parents’ perception about their 33-month-old (52% female) children's interest in books and reading (through a children's reading interest scale, and report of the child's favorite book), as well as child and adult engagement during shared reading. 198 Chilean families, recruited from childcare centers serving low-income families, were randomly assigned to personalized (n = 81), comparison (n = 63), and control (n = 54) groups.

sample size

n=198 (families, total); n=81 (families, personalized intervention); n=63 (families, comparison); n=54 (families, control)


Measure of Home Literacy: questionnaire administered pre- and post-intervention to assess the following two variables:
1) Caregivers’ perception of their children’s interest in reading, as well as the existence of a favorite book, using the following items: “How many times a week does your child…look through books on his or her own? “hand or show you a book?” “ask that you read him or her a book?:
2) Caregivers’ perception of children’s interest in books was based on the question, Does your child have a favorite book?


The intervention indicated partial effectiveness, as after two weeks of repeatedly reading the given book, families from the personalized group reported higher odds that their children have a favorite book than the odds in the comparison and control groups. Moreover, families who read the personalized book had higher likelihood of mentioning the title of the gifted and other book than the comparison group. However, the comparison group scored higher than the personalized group in terms of children's interest in books. Additionally, more verbal (children say more words, take more turns, including extended turns, and make more comments that link the story with their own lives) and some—but not all—affective engagement indicators (laughs, enjoyment) were identified in dyads who read the personalized book than those who read a comparison. In contrast, on the scale of perception of interest in books, the comparison group obtained a greater average rating of perceived child interest than the control group.


Implications are discussed for refining interventions with low-SES families that favor early exposure to reading and exploring ways to scale up this intervention modality.


The study presents some limitations. The fact that we tested the personalization factor with only one book does not allow us to disentangle the effect of personalization itself and affinity with the specific story. Further research should prove the effect of personalization through at least two different personalized stories compared with non-personalized equivalent stories. Second, our intervention had a limited role in explaining the variance of Perception of Child's Interest in Reading (only 4% of variance). Future research could explore whether the same intervention but with higher dosage could explain more variance. Another limitation is the reliability of some engagement codes. Particularly, the lower child refusal in the personalization group should be interpreted with caution, since we were not able to calculate inter-rater agreement.