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Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence

Ulrich Schiefele, Ellen Schaffner, Jens Möller, Allan Wigfield, Susan Nolen and Linda Baker
Reading Research Quarterly
Vol. 47, No. 4 (October/November/December 2012), pp. 427-463
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the International Literacy Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23317751
Page Count: 37
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Abstract

This review of research examines the constructs of reading motivation and synthesizes research findings of the past 20 years on the relationship between reading motivation and reading behavior (amount, strategies, and preferences), and the relationship between reading motivation and reading competence (reading skills and comprehension). In addition, evidence relating to the causal role of motivational factors and to the role of reading behavior as a mediator of the effects of motivation on reading competence is examined. We identify seven genuine dimensions of reading motivation: curiosity, involvement, competition, recognition, grades, compliance, and work avoidance. Evidence for these dimensions comes from both quantitative and qualitative research. Moreover, evidence from previous studies confirms the positive contribution of intrinsic reading motivation, and the relatively small or negative contribution of extrinsic reading motivation, to reading behavior and reading competence. The positive contribution of intrinsic motivation is particularly evident in relation to amount of reading for enjoyment and reading competence and holds even when accounting for relevant control variables. However, the causal role of reading motivation and the mediating role of reading behavior remain largely unresolved issues.

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