Reading Research by Topic
Dimensions of Children's Motivation for Reading and Their Relations to Reading Activity and Reading Achievement
Baker, L., & Wigfield, A. (1999). Dimensions of children's motivation for reading and their relations to reading activity and reading achievement. Reading Research Quarterly,34, 452-477.
This study was designed to assess dimensions of reading motivation and examine how these dimensions related to students' reading activity and achievement. A heterogeneous urban sample of fifth- and sixth-grade children completed the Motivation for Reading Questionnaire (MRQ; Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997), a questionnaire designed to assess 11 possible dimensions of reading motivation, including self-efficacy, several types of intrinsic and extrinsic reading motives, social aspects of reading, and the desire to avoid reading. The students also completed several different measures of reading activity and reading achievement. Confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated that the proposed dimensions of children's reading motivation could be identified and measured reliably.
Scales based on the different dimensions related positively to one another and negatively to the desire to avoid reading. Mean scale scores on most of the dimensions differed by gender and ethnicity, with girls and African Americans reporting stronger motivation. Mean scale scores on most of the dimensions were similar for fifth- and sixth-grade students and for low and middle income students. All of the scales related to children's reports of their reading activity and several to their reading achievement. The strength of the relations between reading motivation and reading achievement was greater for girls and for white students. Cluster analyses revealed seven distinct groupings of children based on their motivational profiles that were related to reading activity and, to a lesser extent, to reading achievement. The study demonstrates that reading motivation is multidimensional and should be regarded as such in research and in practice.