Listening to their voices: what and why are rural teen males reading? Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Boltz, Robin Henson
    • Affiliation: School of Information and Library Science
  • The primary purpose of the study was to examine the reading habits, preferences and motivation for reading from a representative sample of high school males in rural North Carolina. Much research gives voice to what elementary students are reading, but less has been done with adolescents, one of the hardest demographics for librarians and teachers to reach. The study used mixed methods, both qualitative and quantitative. The quantitative portions included the collection of End of Grade reading test data and an adaptation of a Motivation for Reading Questionnaire. Qualitative portions included reading journals kept by the participants and interviews. Guiding questions for the study included--Why do teen boys read--or not read? What doe they read? Do they read for information, for academic gain, for entertainment? How much time do they spend reading for various purposes? Do they prefer to read in print or from digital sources? Given an expanded definition of reading, some of the young men who conceived of themselves as nonreaders were surprised to realize how much they did read. Students offered advice for parents, teachers and librarians to help young men read that was surprisingly reflective of the research literature. A significant relationship between scores on tests of reading achievement and subsequent reading behavior was found. Self-efficacy and feelings of personal competence were the most powerful motivators for the group as a whole. The complexity of the material was not an issue if students were interested in the topic. Personal reading was usually reflective of hobbies and current interests. The study found a direct link between reading behavior and the presence of male role models who read. Reading done for school purposes was primarily in print, but extended reading for personal pleasure or information was more often in digital format.
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  • In Copyright
  • Daniel, Evelyn H.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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