Reading skills and mental health: meta-analysis


Schizophrenia was significantly associated with a number of reading deficits from an early age, including:

  • phonological processing (Hedge’s g = -0.88, df = 24, p = 0.00001, CI [-1.07 to -0.70]);
  • comprehension (Hedge’s g = -0.96, df = 34, p = 0.00001, CI [-1.15 to -0.78]);
  • reading rate (Hedge’s g = -1.22, df = 4, p = 0.002, CI [-1.98 to -0.46]);
  • fluency (Hedge’s g = -2.03, df = 4, p = 0.00001, CI [-2.82 to -1.24]);
  • reading-related skills (with males showing greater deficits compared to females)
  • single-word reading and speed (at a lower degree compared to the above deficits).
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My reading skills were very good, when I was in grade school.

I had excellent comprehension but very low speed in grade school. I stopped reading as I got older.


I read a lot more, before the onset of my schizophrenia, but I still read.

I have work and go to the gym, which makes making time to read harder, too.

Starting reading at some point before the Kennedy-Nixon in the fall of 1960(Born Jan 1957) .Self taught. I used to say ‘Disney Walt’ quite a lot; which could only have come from the 12 volume Children’s encyclopaedia Britannica my parents had bought.

In class I was anxious when reading- severe social phobia. Tried to avoid doing it as much as I could.Stuttered quite a bit at prep school. Read a lot of books between the ages of 11 to 18. Read hardly any books from when I was dxed till about 1988. Then my wife wanted me to read stories to her at bedtime. They were mostly Catherine Cookson ,and similar, romantic sagas. I’ve read very little since my wife died , and since finding out I have aphantasia.


I read at a gifted level despite having some issues with dyslexia before SZ hit.


one of the first books I read was Jane Eyre. I was proud of it because its somewhat dense. I was writing and reading when I was about six years old. My mom and dad taught me. They were very pro-active. I think parents need to do this no matter if your kids have any sort of mental impairment. It always helps to have someone patient to teach you…when I was six or seven I watched the movie A Little Prince and then cut out a bunch of cardboard squares and tied them together with string and wrote a story that copied the movie about a plane that wrecked in the desert and super heroes. Its also strange when I was little my mind felt more like a little boys than a girls, I was hiking in the woods and I named different areas of the neighborhood as if they were a fantasy story…I was completely normal than I didn’t really have issues just super high creativity…

My life has felt like I have been growing backwards, like I was born an adult and now Im becoming a child haha

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My mom was trying to get me into a waldorf type school program. But my parents didnt start out with a lot of wealth and it was hard when I was younger, but honestly if I had been home-schooled my whole life may have been better. when I left catholic high school I was not in the best place–I stopped the AP’s and then ended up in the hospital. But right out of it I took the GED and almost passed enough to qualify for a full scholarship to college but was one or two points off. I didn’t even read the book completely. I mean I browsed it. So schizophrenia didn’t take away my knowledge its just it has set me back time and time again and its hard to keep going…

Right now I’m taking psych 101 and social work. In the fall im taking five more classes. I dont even know if I will ever work I just want to learn and study.


Reading is a good way to train concentration. In the Recovery Inc self-help groups I went to the group would take turns reading from Dr Low’s standard textbook at the beginning of the meetings and that would get everybody’s mind ‘back in the room’. When I would go to the meetings my mind would be racing badly with all sorts of fantasies before starting, but after reading the textbook my concentration would return for the next few hours. The effect was quite remarkable.


I like reading personally. But I prefer to draw on my spare time instead of reading.