Relation of Reading Motivation to Reading Achievement in Seventh-Grade Students From Kenya and the United States

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Abstract

Research showing a relationship between middle school students’ reading motivation and achievement originates primarily in the Western world. The current study was conducted in Kenya and the United States to investigate whether motivation to read and reading achievement are related similarly in the 2 settings. A total of 208 seventh-grade students from public schools from Kenya (51 girls, 34 boys) and the United States (60 girls, 63 boys) completed the Reading Motivation Questionnaire (Wigfield & Guthrie, 1995) after completing their respective standardized examination for reading achievement. Regression analyses revealed that efficacy (positive) and importance of reading (negative) were predictors of reading achievement for the U.S. students while challenge and compliance were both positive significant predictors of reading achievement for the Kenyan students. Overall, girls reported being more motivated by compliance and social reasons and boys by challenge. Girls showed higher reading achievement. These findings suggest that the motivation for reading and its relationship to success in reading differ by cultural setting and by gender.

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