Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Article

Shared Reading with Infants: SharePR a Novel Measure of Shared Reading Quality

Hutton, J.S., Huang, G., Crosh, C., DeWitt, T., Ittenbach, R.F. (2023) Shared Reading with Infants: SharePR a Novel Measure of Shared Reading Quality. Pediatric Research, 93, 976-984. ,

Access: Institutional Access

Publication year


study description

Secondary analysis of data obtained via two unrelated longitudinal trials of home parenting practices conducted between 2018 and 2020.

core topic(s)

Shared Reading

Population Characteristics

Infant/Newborn , Urban

Exposures, Outcomes, Other

Child Behaviors and Skills , Clinic-Based Programs and Interventions , Home Language/Literacy/Learning Environment , Implementation and Evaluation , Parent Behaviors and Skills , Parent-Child Relationships/Interactions , Screening and Tools , Validity, Reliability, Feasibility, and Acceptability


To test the SharePR parent-report measure of caregiver-infant reading quality.



outcomes evaluated

SharePR as a measure of shared reading (administration, psychometric properties, and HLE correlations).


One study was based in an urban, academic women’s health center in the Midwest. The other study was based at an urban, academic pediatric primary care clinic in the Northeast.


This study involved mother-infant dyads in two unrelated trials in an obstetric (0-2 months old) and pediatric (6-9 months old) clinic. SharePR is a 10-item measure based on the SHARE/STEP model. Analyses involved descriptive statistics, measures of psychometric integrity, and correlations with home literacy environment (HLE).

sample size

n=99 (dyads, younger); n=108 (dyads, older)


Measure of Shared Reading Quality: SharePR

    • Questions 1-2) lap-sitting and showing the book to the child before reading to build interest (Snuggle, Enjoy) framed with a question.
    • Questions 3-9) frequency of other SHARE/STEP behaviors framed with a question: encouraging the child to hold the book, stretching words (child-directed speech), using sound effects (e.g., animal noises), saying words back when the child tries, pointing at pictures and talking about them, relating pictures to the child’s world (e.g., cat in book/pet cat), and patiently trying ways to restore interest if the child gets upset.
    • Question 10) spending time together (e.g., rocking) after reading before moving on to another activity.

Measure of Demographics and Family Reading History: survey administered by CRC

    • OB Study: four-item adaptation of the Adult Reading History Questionnaire (ARHQ).
    • Pediatric Study: parent asked whether there was a history of reading difficulties or dyslexia in the child’s parent or sibling (Yes, No, Unsure).

Measures of Home Literacy Environment: several additional questions

    • number of books at home that they could read with the baby.
    • minutes per day of shared reading.
    • days per week of shared reading.
    • name three favorite things that they liked to do with their baby at home.
    • to what degree the baby seemed to enjoy being read to at her/his age.


There were 99 dyads in the younger (1.2 + 0.5 months) and 108 dyads in the older groups (6.6 + 1.1 months). A majority were of non-white race (73%, 96%) and low-socioeconomic status (56%, 44% in-poverty). SharePR administration time was under 2 min and scores were normally distributed at each age. Psychometric properties were strong in terms of internal consistency and reliability. Scores were positively correlated with HLE for the older group (p < 0.05).


SharePR may be an efficient tool to quantify shared reading quality with infants, warranting further investigation...The AAP recommends caregiver-child (""shared"") reading beginning in infancy, yet many families are uncertain how to do so. Verbal and social-emotional interactivity during shared reading (""quality"") moderates benefits and is often low in families from disadvantaged backgrounds, yet is challenging to measure. SharePR is a 10-item parent-report measure of shared reading quality based on a novel conceptual model incorporating evidence-based behaviors (SHARE/STEP). SharePR exhibited promising psychometric properties in two separate samples of mothers of younger and older infants. SharePR is a potentially useful measure of shared reading quality at this formative age, for research and to frame early reading guidance.


It involves data collected during two unrelated studies where its use was exploratory in nature. One was conducted in an OB clinic,68 the other in a pediatric clinic,69 which may not be comparable in terms of capturing maternal knowledge, priorities, and attitudes. Both samples largely involved mothers of minority race, lower education, and economic disadvantage, limiting generalizability. The concentrated nature of these samples limited statistical power to detect differences related to these important demographic covariates. While not involving SHARE/STEP, the design for the younger group featured prenatal shared reading guidance, while the older group received care in a pediatric clinic where ROR is administered, each a potential confounder fueling higher scores. As with all parent-report tools, SharePR is subject to social desirability and other biases.89 While the observation of shared reading is the ideal standard with which to establish concurrent validity, this was not feasible during either study. Cross-sectional design does not allow insights into predictive validity, which remains to be determined.