Access to print in low-income and middle-income communities: An ecological study of four neighborhoods

Susan B. Neuman, Donna Celano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Building on a growing body of ecological research, this study examines access to print in two low-income and two middle-income neighborhood communities in a large industrial city. It documents the availability of print in these communities, focusing on resources considered to be influential in a child's beginning development as a writer and reader. It describes the likelihood that children will find books and other resources, see signs, labels, and logos, public places (spaces) conducive to reading, books in local preschools, school libraries, and public library branches. Results of the year-long analysis indicated striking differences between neighborhoods of differing income in access to print at all levels of analyses, with middle-income children having a large variety of resources to choose from, while low-income children having to rely on public institutions which provide unequal resources across communities. Such differences in access to print resources may have important implications for children's early literacy development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-26
Number of pages19
JournalReading Research Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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