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The impact of motivation in children’s reading comprehension: differential effects of gender and ability

Fridkin, Lisa; (2018) The impact of motivation in children’s reading comprehension: differential effects of gender and ability. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Research and theory indicate that situational interest may be effectively triggered by an environmental stimulus, and that this supports increases in effort, attention and perseverance (Hidi & Renninger, 2006) which can positively impact related reading comprehension performance and task enjoyment (Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997). Further evidence suggests that these characteristics may be moderated by gender and ability (Logan, Medford & Hughes, 2011; Sainsbury & Schagen, 2004). Three experimental studies were conducted to explore the relationship between reading motivation, manipulated through situational interest, and reading comprehension and task enjoyment in children (8-9 years old), where choice, and two types of novelty were examined as potential triggers. Each study investigated children’s reading comprehension performance and task enjoyment through a repeated measures, cross-over design. After reading a story, participants completed a reading comprehension task and enjoyment questionnaire. Post-testing, a selection of participants took part in focus groups to investigate the research questions. Study 1 investigated effects of choice through offering a perceived choice in the experimental condition. Study 2 investigated effects of novelty through story presentation, where a visitor read the story prologue aloud in the experimental condition only. Study 3 investigated novelty through non-textual features where the experimental condition story included scratch and sniff stickers. In the control conditions, participants read a story without choice or novelty. All studies found significant effects for reading comprehension scores and reported task enjoyment. There was no evidence that effects of choice or novelty were moderated by ability but novelty non-textual features (Study 3) had significantly greater impact on girls’ compared to boys’ reading comprehension. The findings indicate that situational interest may be effectively triggered by both choice and novelty, successfully increasing reading comprehension performance and task enjoyment. There is evidence to suggest that, for some types of novelty, task performance may be sensitive to gender effects.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The impact of motivation in children’s reading comprehension: differential effects of gender and ability
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053870
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