Science for Education Today, 2020, vol. 10, no. 5, pp. 28–49

Characteristics of modern adolescents’ digital reading: Results of theoretical and empirical research

Borisenko N. A. 1 (Moscow, Russian Federation), Mironova K. V. 1 (Moscow, Russian Federation), Shishkova S. V. 1 (Moscow, Russian Federation), Granik G. G. 1 (Moscow, Russian Federation)
1 Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education

Introduction. This article investigates the relationship between digital and paper reading within modern adolescents’ reading activities. The purpose of the study is to reveal the characteristics of adolescents’ digital reading compared to paper reading.
Materials and Methods. The study involved theoretical analysis and consolidation of research findings on digital reading. Empirical data were collected via questionnaires, the focus group method, expert evaluation and structured interviews. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of the obtained data were carried out. Participants were 1835 schoolchildren in grades 5-8 (aged between 11 and 15 years) from 14 regions of the Russian Federation.
Results. The authors summarized the findings of the theoretical and empirical study of adolescents’ digital reading compared to paper reading. In order to identify the specifics of modern adolescents’ digital reading, ‘Paper vs screen (reading from paper and reading from screens)’ questionnaire has been developed and empirically verified. The authors analyzed the content of students’ online reading, its range and intensity, reading preferences regarding the environment (analog/digital) and the medium (the type of device).
Conclusions. The article concludes that at present adolescents’ reading activities are characterized by the cohesion of traditional and new reading practices. Nevertheless, paper reading remains the dominant format of book reading. Characteristics of modern adolescents’ digital reading include spontaneity, pragmatism, and situatedness. The findings suggest that digital reading preferences include informative and entertaining texts related to the field of everyday communication. Purposeful teaching of digital reading at school is highlighted as an important factor enhancing the effectiveness of reading performance.


Digital reading; Reading from paper; Adolescents aged between 11 and 15 years; Electronic sources; Paper sources; Reading preferences.


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Characteristics of modern adolescents’ digital reading: Results of theoretical and empirical research

For citation:
Borisenko N. A., Mironova K. V., Shishkova S. V., Granik G. G. Characteristics of modern adolescents’ digital reading: Results of theoretical and empirical research. Science for Education Today, 2020, vol. 10, no. 5, pp. 28–49. DOI:
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Date of the publication 31.10.2020