Research links reading difficulties to anxiety

Growing evidence has linked reading difficulties among school children with poor mental health.

While much has been written about maths anxiety and its adverse impact on mathematics learning, reading anxiety has emerged as a factor in reading difficulties experienced by about one in ten Australian primary school students.

Writing about the link for a piece published in The Conversation, Professor Genevieve McArthur, of ACU’s Australian Centre for the Advancement of Literacy, said ACU-affiliated research showed reading anxiety may be the mental health condition most closely related to reading difficulties.

“In one of our very recent studies (not yet published), we discovered 50 per cent of children with reading difficulties appeared to have reading anxiety. That equates to around one in ten children at primary school,” Professor McArthur wrote.

In her article, Professor McArthur offered practical tips to parents to help them identify signs of reading anxiety in their child as well as advice on how to access expert help.

Read the full article published in The Conversation:
Some kids with reading difficulties can also have reading anxiety – what can parents do? (

Learn more about ACU’s Australian Centre for the Advancement of Literacy

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