Motivational and Cognitive Contributions to Students' Amount of Reading

Contemp Educ Psychol. 2001 Jan;26(1):116-131. doi: 10.1006/ceps.1999.1044.


The amount that students read for enjoyment and for school is a major contributor to students' reading achievement and knowledge of the world. Consequently, it is important to identify the factors that predict amount of reading. A literature review revealed that motivation, strategy-use, and past reading achievement all may be expected to predict reading amount. To examine these variables, a total of 251 students in Grades 3 and 5 was administered questionnaires of these constructs and a reading test. Results showed that amount of reading for enjoyment was predicted most highly by motivation, when all other variables were controlled statistically in multiple-regression analyses. In contrast, amount of reading for school was predicted most highly by strategy use, when all other variables were controlled. However, these predictions were different for students in Grades 3 and 5. Findings of the study indicate that amount of reading is multiply determined by cognitive and motivational constructs, which is consistent with an engagement perspective on reading development. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.