Both reading and writing have long been associated with improving mental health; even the casual reading of poetry has frequently been found to reduce anxiety and depression in a wide variety of ages and contexts. Yet, few in the UK regularly read or write poetry after secondary school. We will first use existing large-scale datasets to assess the relationship between reading for pleasure and reductions in anxiety and depression. Given that the association between reading for pleasure and mental health may be confounded by a range of common influences, we will use counterfactual analysis approaches such as propensity score matching, coarsened exact matching, and inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) to estimate the causal effect of reading for pleasure on depression and anxiety. Based on these results, we will work collaboratively with stakeholder groups (teachers and clinicians, parents, and adolescents themselves) to identify intervention strategies to promote long-term, sustainable habits that improve mental health and wellbeing.
|Effective start/end date||8/08/22 → 7/02/23|
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