The relation between student motivation and reading performance

Among other things, the review examined the relationship between motivation and reading over time, including eight longitudinal studies. The results indicated positive, significant associations in both directions, but the relation between early reading ability was a stronger predictor of later motivation than early motivation to read predicted reading achievement. In other words, success is more important for motivation than motivation is for success.

Best Evidence in Brief Index

By Marta Pellegrini, University of Florence, Italy

The latest issue of Review of Educational Research presents a meta-analysis on the relationship between reading achievement and motivation. The review examined whether ability to decode and understand text, goal orientation, students’ at-risk status, or grade level moderated the relationship, as well as whether motivation and reading are related over time.

Jessica Toste and colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Iowa included 132 peer-reviewed articles with 1,154 effect sizes. Most of the studies took place in the United States (41%). Other studies are from Canada or Europe. Results suggest that the relation between motivation and reading achievement is moderate (ES = +0.22). For specific reading domains, average correlations with motivation were moderate as well: ES = +0.19 for the ability to read in an accurate and fluent way, ES = +0.21 for the ability to understand and…

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