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

Author(s): Ulrich Schiefele, Ellen Schaffner, Jens Möller, Allan Wigfield, Susan Nolen and
Linda Baker
Source: 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
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Review of Research

Dimensions of Reading Motivation


and Their Relation to Reading
Behavior and Competence
Ulrich Schiefele
University of Potsdam, Germany

Ellen Schaffner
University of Potsdam, Germany

Jens Möller
University of Kiel, Germany

Allan Wigfield
University of Maryland, College Park, USA

Consulting Editors:

Susan Nolen,
University of Washington, Seattle, USA
Linda Baker, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA

EQEDQE^" -
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, evi
dence 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 contri
bution 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 con
trol variables. However, the causal role of reading motivation and the mediating role of reading behavior remain largely
unresolved issues.

and products of learning above and beyond cognitive


ment are central issues in educational psychol characteristics such as intelligence or prior knowledge.
The effects of motivation on learning and achieve
ogy (Heckhausen, 1991; Schunk, Pintrich, In this context, reading plays a particularly important
& Meece, 2008; Wigfield, Eccles, Schiefele, Roeser, role because learning relies to a large extent on writ
& Davis-Kean, 2006). A multitude of studies have sug ten materials. Accordingly, many studies have used
gested that students' motivation impacts their processes text learning tasks to examine effects of motivation on

Reading Research Quarterly • 47(4) • pp. 427-463 • doi: 10.1002/RRQ.030 • © 2012 International Reading Association 427

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learning (see, e.g., P. Alexander, Kulikowich, & Jetton, were identified (He, 2008; Kolic-Vehovec, Roncevic, &
1994; Hidi, 2001; Schiefele, 1999). Bajsanski, 2008; Schutte & Malouff, 2007).
Thus, in fact, these studies examined the effects of Our review focuses primarily on research from a
motivation on reading competence. Because learning psychological perspective as opposed to a sociocul
depends so strongly on text materials, reading compe tural or situated perspective (e.g., Moje, Overby, Tys
tence appears to be a highly important precondition of vaer, & Morris, 2008; Nolen, 2007). The main reason
academic achievement. As a consequence, educational for this focus is that sociocultural research on reading
training programs such as Concept-Oriented Reading motivation addresses different research questions than
Instruction have been developed to foster students' the ones addressed in our review. Research on read
reading strategies and their motivation to read (Guthrie, ing motivation from a sociocultural perspective has
McRae, & Klauda, 2007). Motivation is assumed to be addressed issues such as the socially situated develop
of particular significance because it affects the amount ment of reading motivation (Moje et al., 2008; Nolen,
and breadth of students' reading, which, in turn, facili 2007), the role of popular media texts in the literacy
tates the development of reading competence (Mol & practice of adolescents (Alvermann, 2011; Alvermann &
Bus, 2011; Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997b). Heron, 2001), and the dependency of text use and text
Although the importance of reading motivation comprehension on characteristics of different academic
for the development of reading competence has been disciplines (Moje, Stockdill, Kim, & Kim, 2011).
emphasized and empirically examined by many authors In the following, we first discuss the conceptualiza
(e.g., Guthrie & Wigfield, 1999; McKenna, Conradi, tion of reading motivation at a more general level and
Lawrence, Jang, & Meyer, 2012; Morgan & Fuchs, 2007; review different approaches to theorizing about reading
Park, 2011; Unrau & Schlackman, 2006), several ques motivation. The most widely known line of research per
tions remain. In our view, these questions mainly refer to tains to the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic
the nature of conceptualizations of reading motivation, reading motivation. Other lines of research examine read
the distinction between dimensions of reading motiva ing attitude, reading-related task value beliefs, reading
tion, the relative contributions of different dimensions self-concept and self-efficacy, and reading-related goal
of reading motivation to reading behavior and reading orientations. After briefly clarifying these constructs, we
competence, the independence of motivational influ attempt to categorize and integrate them (goal 1).
ences from confounding cognitive predictors, the evi Another highly relevant theoretical issue is the iden
dence for the causal direction of motivational effects, tification of various dimensions of reading motivation
and the identification of processes mediating the effects within the constructs of intrinsic and extrinsic reading
of reading motivation on reading competence. motivation. We focus on both qualitative and quan
The present review was guided by these unre titative research on the multifaceted nature of read
solved questions. Thus, our goals were (1) to examine ing motivation. Of particular interest is the question
previously identified constructs of reading motiva of whether evidence from qualitative and quantitative
tion, (2) to clarify the dimensionality of reading moti research coincides with regard to the identification of
vation, (3) to synthesize research findings on the motivational dimensions. We systematically compare
relation between facets of reading motivation and read the various studies and conclude by proposing the core
ing behavior (amount, strategies, preferences) as well as dimensions of reading motivation (goal 2).
(4) reading competence (reading skills and comprehen In the main part of our review, research on the rela
sion), and (5) to examine the evidence on the causality tions between facets of reading motivation and reading
of motivational effects, including the analysis of the role behavior (goal 3) and on the relations between facets
of reading behavior as a mediator of the effects of read of reading motivation and reading competence (goal
ing motivation on reading competence. 4) is analyzed. More specifically, the section on read
In searching for relevant studies, we focused on ing motivation and behavior examines three aspects
1990-2010 and part of 2011 and used several databases of reading behavior: amount of reading, use of read
for English and German psychological literature (e.g., ing strategies, and individuals' preferences for differ
PsycINFO, PSYNDEX). For the purpose of online ent text genres. Research on the association between
search, we created search phrases by combining the reading motivation and various indicators of reading
terms reading, comprehension, reading competence, read competence is presented next. The indicators of read
ing amount, reading frequency, and reading behavior ing competence vary from measures of basic reading
with each of the following terms: motivation, interest, skills (e.g., decoding skills, vocabulary, pseudoword
self-concept, self-efficacy, attitude, and goal orientation naming) to measures of reading comprehension (e.g.,
(e.g., "reading and interest"). Because past research multiple-choice questions pertaining to the main ideas
focused on young children and school students, we of a text). The first two parts of the section on reading
did not include studies with adults or university stu motivation and reading competence examine research
dents. In fact, only very few studies involving adults on intrinsic/extrinsic reading motivation, then research

428 Reading Research Quarterly • 47(4)

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on reading attitude and reading-related task value. In these incentives may appear as subjective reasons for
the third part, we review findings on the causal direc reading. For example, a student may be motivated to
tion of effects and the identification of processes (par read because of individual interest in a particular topic.
ticularly the amount of reading) that possibly mediate Alternatively, the student's reading motivation may
the effects of reading motivation on reading compe derive from external incentives, such as the desire to get
tence (goal 5). In the final section, we draw conclusions good grades in school. Usually, these different aspects
and make suggestions for further research. of motivation are categorized as intrinsic or extrinsic
forms of motivation (e.g., Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997a). In
line with motivational theories (cf. Schunk et al., 2008),
intrinsic motivation to read is defined as the willingness
Conceptualization of Reading to read because that activity is satisfying or rewarding
Motivation in its own right. More specifically, intrinsic motivation
In our definition of reading motivation, we suggest a dis to read can be either object or activity specific. In the
tinction between current and habitual reading motiva case of object-specific intrinsic reading motivation, the
tion (cf. Pekrun, 1993) and between different dimensions person is motivated to read because of an interest in the
of reading motivation (e.g., Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997b). topic of a text. In the case of activity-specific intrinsic
A person's current motivation to read can be defined as reading motivation, the person is motivated to read
the extent of his or her intention to read a specific text in because the activity of reading provides positive experi
a given situation (Schiefele, 1999, 2009). Thus, someone ences, such as becoming absorbed by a story (Schiefele,
eager to read a particular article, for example, displays a 1999, 2009).
high level of current reading motivation. An individual Extrinsic reading motivation refers to reasons for
who repeatedly shows a form of current reading motiva reading that are external to both the activity of read
tion can be ascribed a certain amount of habitual read ing and the topic of the text. Extrinsically motivated
ing motivation. For example, a girl who uses most of herreading is energized by its expected consequences
free time to read books would be said to exhibit strong (Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997b). Extrinsically motivated
habitual reading motivation. Thus, habitual readingreaders either aspire to get positive outcomes or attempt
motivation denotes the relatively stable readiness of toa avoid negative ones. For example, a student might
read a text for school to elicit praise from the teacher.
person to initiate particular reading activities. Reading
motivation inventories, such as Wigfield and Guthrie's Other forms of extrinsic reading motivation refer, for
(1997b) Motivations for Reading Questionnaire (MRQ), example, to the desire for good grades or for outper
usually assess habitual forms of motivation. forming others (Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997b).
It should be noted that we do not consider indi
vidual interest as a form of reading motivation, as was
suggested by Guthrie and Wigfield (1999). Individual Reading Attitude
interest may motivate quite different behaviors (e.g., visMcKenna, Rear, and Ellsworth (1995; see also McRenna
iting a museum, attending a conference), one of which is et al., 2012) maintained that children's attitude toward
reading text materials related to one's interests. Thus,reading
a is important because it affects their levels of
specific form of habitual reading motivation may involve reading ability through its influence on reading behav
the repeated intention to read to satisfy one's interests.ior.
As In line with Fishbein and Ajzen's (1975) classic atti
will be shown, this form of reading motivation has been tude theory and J. Alexander and Filler's (1976, p. 1)
termed curiosity (Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997b), object-ori definition of reading attitude as "a system of feelings
related to reading which causes the learner to approach
ented reading motivation (Schaffner & Schiefele, 2007a),
or reading for interest (Möller & Bonerad, 2007). or avoid a reading situation," McRenna et al. (1995) view
In the following, we discuss central constructsreading
of attitude as an affective construct. Furthermore,
they reported evidence for two dimensions: attitude
reading motivation. As will be argued, there are basi
toward recreational and academic reading. McRenna et
cally two groups of constructs: those referring to forms
al. did not explicitly differentiate their concept of read
of intrinsic or extrinsic reading motivation (e.g., reading
ing attitude from the concept of reading motivation.
attitude) and those dealing with preconditions of read
ing motivation (e.g., reading self-concept). Yet, theoretically, the two concepts are distinguish
able: Whereas reading motivation refers to intentions
or reasons for reading, reading attitude involves the
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Reading Motivation
expression of feelings toward reading.1
Theoretically, the distinction between dimensionsWhen taking a closer look at McRenna and Rear's
of reading motivation should correspond to the vari(1990) Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (recently
adapted by McRenna et al., 2012, for middle school
ous incentives that are attached to reading (cf. Möller
& Schiefele, 2011). From the perspective of the reader,
students and reading in both print and digital settings),

Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 429

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a strong overlap between reading attitude and intrin comprehension efficacy and value of reading compre
sic reading motivation becomes evident. For example, hension (comprising items referring to utility, attain
the subscale for recreational reading involves questions ment, and interest value). Thus, intrinsic and extrinsic
such as "How do you feel about spending free time aspects of reading value were not separated.
reading?" that have to be answered on a pictorial rating Value of reading is also a component of the Moti
scale based on the cartoon character Garfield. Because vation to Read Profile developed by Gambrell, Palmer,
of the conceptual overlap between measures of read Codling, and Mazzoni (1996) and revised by Pitcher et
ing attitude and reading motivation, findings related to al. (2007). This instrument consists of two subscales:
reading attitude are relevant in the present context. reading self-concept, and value or importance of read
Chapman and Tunmer's (1995) Reading Self-Con ing. A typical item on the value of reading scale asks
cept Scale for elementary students also includes an attistudents to complete the statement "I think reading is..."
tude toward reading subscale. These authors adopted with one of four response categories (e.g., 4 = a great
the same definition of reading attitude as McKenna and way to spend time, 1 = a boring way to spend time).
Rear (1990) but categorized attitude toward reading as Durik et al.'s (2006) scale of intrinsic value and
the affective component of reading self-concept. Again, Pitcher et al.'s (2007) scale of reading value seem to cap
the nature of the items (e.g., "Is it fun for you to read ture similar constructs. In addition, they both appear
books?") suggests a close relation of reading attitude to be closely related to the concepts of reading attitude
with intrinsic reading motivation. and intrinsic reading motivation. Durik et al.'s (see also
Sainsbury and Schagen (2004) developed a reading Solheim, 2011) task importance resembles Wigfield and
attitude questionnaire for upper elementary students Guthrie's (1997b) reading motivation dimension impor
and identified three attitude factors. The first fac tance of reading (see later discussion).
tor was labeled reading enjoyment (e.g., "I like reading
stories") and is very similar to McRenna et al.'s (1995)
and Chapman and Tunmer's (1995) attitude scales. The Reading Self-Concept and Self-Efficacy
other two factors were conceptually less clear. TheSelf-concepts
sec of ability are more or less domain-specific
ond factor was characterized as support for reading and
self-perceptions that students develop as a result of their
experiences in different (school) subjects or domains.
mainly expresses a preference for reading with an adult
These experiences are largely determined by the opin
person or other support. The third factor measures the
preference for nonbook reading materials (e.g., comics,
ions of significant others, concrete feedback, and causal
magazines). attributions (Shavelson, Hubner, & Stanton, 1976; see
also Helmke, 1996). As was shown by Marsh, Byrne,
It should be noted that other authors (e.g., Logan
& Johnston, 2009) used operational definitions of read
and Shavelson (1988), the self-concept of academic abil
ing attitude that could not be classified unambiguously
ity falls into two distinct dimensions: verbal and math
as indicators of reading motivation and thus were ematical.
not Whereas most prior research viewed the verbal
included in the present review. self-concept as being one-dimensional, Wigfield and
Rarpathian (1991) suggested the differentiation of sub
components. Accordingly, the concept of one's reading
Reading-Related Task Value Beliefs ability may be one such subcomponent. In line with this
Based on the expectancy-value model of achievement
assumption, Chapman and Tunmer (1995) developed
behavior by Eccles (1994; Eccles et al., 1983), Durik, Vida,
the Reading Self-Concept Scale for elementary students.
and Eccles (2006) examined task value beliefs and self This instrument comprises two subscales related to
concept of reading ability as predictors of high school self-perception of reading competence and difficulty of
achievement choices related to literacy (e.g., number reading tasks. Only the first of these subscales captures
of language arts courses per year of high school). They reading self-concept. A similar scale is included in the
considered two forms of reading-related task values Motivation
in to Read Profile (Pitcher al., 2007) discussed
their study: intrinsic value and importance. Intrinsic previously.
value refers to valuing a reading task because it is enjoy Reading self-efficacy refers to the extent of a per
able and involving. Perceived importance of a reading son's expectation to perform well on a reading task.
task entails both utility value (practical or instrumen Bandura (1997; see also Schunk & Zimmerman, 1997)
tal significance) and attainment value (importancedifferentiated
of between outcome and self-efficacy
reading well). expectations. An outcome expectation is defined as the
Anmarkrud and Bráten (2009) used items from subjective belief that a given behavior will in fact result
the MRQ and their own items to assess reading self in a certain outcome, whereas self-efficacy beliefs refer
efficacy and the utility, attainment, and interest value of to the expectation of being able to execute that behav
reading comprehension (rather than of reading in gen ior. In contrast to academic self-concepts, self-efficacy
eral). Factor analyses revealed only two factors: reading beliefs are relatively independent of both social and

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dimensional comparison processes (e.g., Bong, 1998; reading. For example, Lepóla et al. (see also Poski
Möller, Pohlmann, Koller, & Marsh, 2009). However, parta, Niemi, Lepóla, Ahtola, & Laine, 2003) had
they depend more strongly on past experiences with experimenters rate elementary school students' behav
similar tasks. Despite these conceptual distinctions, ior in testlike and gamelike situations on a number of
inventories of reading-related competence beliefs (e.g., items. Task orientation items addressed, for example,
Chapman & Tunmer's, 1995, Reading Self-Concept concentration on task and verbal behavior indicat
Scale; Wigfield and Guthrie's, 1997b, MRQ reading ing task involvement. Social dependence orientation
efficacy subscale) often combine self-concept and self was related, for example, to verbal help-seeking and
efficacy items. imitative behavior. Ego-defensive orientation items
reflected, for example, avoidance behavior and nega
tive utterances referring to one's performance. The
Goal Orientations resulting goal orientation measures were then exam
To date, there appear to be no direct applications of ined as predictors of various indicators of reading
achievement goal theory to reading. This contrasts competence.
with the importance of goal orientations in educa
tional research (e.g., Elliot, 1999; Kaplan & Maehr,
2007). However, Meece and Miller (1999, 2001; see also Summary: Categorization of Reading
Graham, Tisher, Ainley, & Kennedy, 2008) applied Motivation Constructs
achievement goal theory to literacy-related learning Our first goal was to clarify the nature of previously
assignments (involving reading and writing tasks) in identified constructs of reading motivation. Based on
school. They were particularly interested in examin the previous analysis, we suggest two categories: genu
ing the temporal stability of students' goals for literacy ine motivational constructs (facets of reading moti
related assignments over the late elementary years. vation) and antecedents of reading motivation. The
In addition, the relation between changes in goal ori former group clearly entails the concepts of intrinsic
entations and changes in learning strategy use was and extrinsic reading motivation and their components.
investigated. Three types of goal orientations were dis As we have argued, reading attitude (McKenna et al.,
tinguished: (1) Task-mastery goals represent the desire 1995), intrinsic value (Durik et al., 2006), and reading
to improve one's ability or to understand learning value (Pitcher et al., 2007) are all rather similar to the
material; (2) performance goals involve demonstrating construct of intrinsic reading motivation and, thus,
high ability relative to others and attaining recognition also belong to the group of genuine reading motivation
for one's abilities; and (3) work-avoidant goals represent constructs. In contrast, the second group of constructs
the tendency to work on academic tasks with a mini involves self-concept of reading ability, reading
mum of effort. self-efficacy, and importance of reading. In our view,
The items of the scales to assess students' goals these constructs are antecedents of reading motivation
did not directly address reading or writing (e.g., "I because they refer to the expectancy of successful read
really wanted to understand the assignment": task ing and to the value of reading (cf. Möller & Schiefele,
mastery goals) but were to be answered in terms of 2011).
a specific literacy-related learning assignment. Two To assign goal orientations to one of the two
types of learning activities were selected for data col groups appears to be more difficult because in the
lection: simple assignments (involving worksheets or past, goal orientations were only indirectly related
exercise that required a simple response, e.g., circling to reading. Meece and Miller (2001) examined stu
the correct answer) and complex assignments (involv dents' goals for literacy-related learning assignments
ing writing multiple paragraphs, e.g., essays, research in school. Lepóla et al. (2000) observed students in
reports). Students were reminded to answer the ques testlike and gamelike situations to assess their goal
tions in relation to the assignment that they had just orientations. These researchers' operational defini
completed. The findings from Meece and Miller tions of goals do not refer to reading as an activity that
(2001) revealed significant declines over time in task is being pursued within or outside of school. Thus,
mastery and performance goals but not in work-avoid in our view, work on goal orientations does not relate
ant goals. In addition, task-mastery goal ratings were specifically to reading motivation.
significantly related to reported use of active learning
strategies.
Lepóla and his colleagues (e.g., Lepóla, Salonen,
& Vauras, 2000) proposed another approach based Dimensions of Reading Motivation
on goal theory. Similar to Meece and Miller (2001), In the preceding sections, we described intrinsic and
these researchers assessed goal orientations as more extrinsic reading motivation as higher order catego
general constructs not being specifically related to ries that may each subsume several specific forms or

Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 431

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dimensions of reading motivation. For the second goal
of the present review, we examine these specific dimen
Results From Qualitative Research
sions. This is important because different dimensions To date, there have been few attempts to measure read
of motivation (within the same higher order category) ing motivation by means of qualitative assessment meth
are likely to have different effects on reading behav ods. Reading motivation of students has been usually
ior and reading competence. Thus, in the following, assessed by means of questionnaires, such as Wigfield
we review both qualitative and quantitative research and Guthrie's (1997b) MRQ. Interesting, the MRQ is
based on theoretical considerations as well as results of a
on the dimensionality of reading motivation, and we
address the question of whether qualitative and quan qualitative study by Guthrie, Van Meter, McCann, and
titative studies agree on the identification of reading Wigfield (1996). These authors interviewed a sample of
motivation dimensions. Quantitative studies of reading 20 third- and fifth-grade students who participated in
motivation are strongly influenced by a priori theoreti Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI), a pro
cal conceptions, and thus the findings may differ from gram designed to foster both reading competence and
those of qualitative studies that are more grounded in motivation. Content analysis of students' interview pro
respondents' perspectives. tocols resulted in 14 categories (cf. Table 1):

Table 1. Dimensions of Reading Motivation: Results from Qualitative Studies

Categories of reading Correspondence with Guthrie et al.'s* categories


motivation according to
Guthrie et al.a Greaney and Neuman'' Nolenc Schiefele and Schaffner^

Curiosity Interest, mastery

Involvement Escape, stimulation, enjoyment Interest, enjoyment Imagination, absorption, suspense,


enjoyment, relaxation

Competition General learning Ego concerns Competition

Self-respect Social context


Recognition

Grades Utility, general learning Competence

Challenge General learning Mastery

Work avoidance Reading avoidance

Social Social motives Social context

Reading as a school task School task


Compliance
Investment Goals Utility reading

Emotional tuning Relief from boredom, escape Regulation of emotions, relief from
boredom, relaxation

Rewards

Utilitarian

Efficacy

Categories that do not correspond with those of Guthrie et al.a

Morality

Convenience/flexibility Facilitation of sleep"

Filling time

"Growth of Literacy Engagement: Changes in Motivations and Strategies During Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction, by J.T. Guthrie, P. Van Meter,
A.D. McCann, and A. Wigfield, 1996, Reading Research Quarterly, 3H3), 306-332.
bThe Functions of Reading: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, by V. Greaney and S.B. Neuman, 1990, Reading Research Quarterly, 25(3), 172-195.
'Young Children's Motivation to Read and Write: Development in Social Contexts, by S.B. Nolen, 2007, Cognition and Instruction, 25(2/3), 219-270.
dLesemotivation im Grundschulalter - Ergebnisse einer Interviewstudie [Reading Motivation of Elementary School Students - Results From an Interview
Studyl, by U. Schiefele and E. Schaffner, in press, Psychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht.
'Reading to facilitate sleeping refers in Greaney and NeumanV' study to a specific student statement that was assigned to the broader category of
convenience/flexibility.

Reading Research Quarterly • 47(4)

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1. Curiosity—To learn more about personally 3. Escape—To withdraw or to forget
interesting topics 4. Stimulation—To have a fantasy or to get involved
2. Involvement—To get lost in a story, experience with the characters of a story
imaginative actions, and empathize with the 5. Relief from boredom—To pass the time
characters of a story
6. Goals—To get a job, to help one's family, or to
3. Competition—To reach higher levels of reading help one's country in the future
achievement than other students
7. Morality—To learn good manners, to learn from
4. Recognition—To get praise for good reading one's elders, or to behave right
performance by teachers, parents, or friends
8. Self-respect—To be praised by others or to win
5. Grades—To improve one's grades in school respect
6. Challenge—Preference for difficult or complex 9. Convenience/flexibility—Because it can be done
reading materials any time of the day and in a self-determined way
7. Work avoidance—Trying to avoid reading 10. Utility—To improve one's vocabulary or to do
related work well on an exam
8. Social—Reading-related activities with family
and peers In a three-year longitudinal, mixed-method study,
Nolen (2007) observed a sample of 67 children in two
9. Compliance—Reading because of external
schools during literacy activities in grades 1-3. Each
pressure or assignments in school
year, students and their teachers were interviewed
10. Investment—To build experience that will lead about the students' motivation to read and write.
to achieving long-term goals, such as attending According to Nolen, motivation theory has shifted
college from considering context as an independent variable
11. Emotional tuning—To change an existing influencing individuals' motivation toward considering
feeling, such as alleviating sadness or boredom; motivation itself as socially constructed. This assump
reading to relax tion entails the possibility that individuals' definitions
12. Rewards—To gain desirable privileges, such as of motivation are different in different situations and
books, gold stars, or praise, in the classroom or that they develop over time. The main research ques
at home tion (of interest here) referred to the nature of the moti
13. Utilitarian—To learn a procedure or rules for a vations for literacy that were salient for students across
game, hobby, or craft the primary grades. In addition, the relation of these
motivations and their development to the students'
14. Efficacy—Feeling that reading behaviors are classroom social context was examined.
completely under one's own control; to be
Based on a grounded theory approach (Strauss &
confident in one's reading ability
Corbin, 1998), the interview protocols were analyzed to
It should be noted that Guthrie et al. (1996) inter identify the motivations that were salient to students at
viewed only students who were part of the CORI each grade level in each domain. The results revealed
program. As Nolen (2007, p. 221) has argued, the eight major categories of reading motivation (cf. Table 1):
CORI program suggests particular reasons for read 1. Interest—Getting involved with the plot or the
ing (e.g., to satisfy subject interests), and therefore, characters of a story; liking to read favorite genres,
participation in CORI may have influenced the authors, or topics
responses of the students.
2. Enjoyment—Reading is enjoyable; use of
Greaney and Neuman (1990) combined qualita
imagination
tive and quantitative methods to determine the reasons
behind students' reading intentions. In the first part of 3. Mastery—Reading harder books as a challenge;
their research, 8-, 10-, and 13-year-old students from dif becoming a better reader; learning new things
ferent countries were asked to write essays on why they through reading
liked to read. In the second part, statements from the 4. Reading as a school task—Reading is needed for
essays were used to construct a reading motivation ques school or for accomplishing homework
tionnaire. The analysis of students' essays (n > 1,200) 5. Utility reading—Reading is important in later
revealed 10 separate functions of reading (cf. Table 1): life, for example, as part of one's job
1. General learning—To learn, to read better, or to 6. Ego concerns—Being a good reader relative to
get smarter others; avoiding shame
2. Enjoyment—Because it is fun, interesting, or 7. Social motives—Reading with others is fun; talk
exciting ing about reading materials is possible

Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 433

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8. Reading avoidance—Because it is time consum Guthrie et al.'s, 1996, terms): competition, recognition,
ing, and some materials are hard to understand grades, compliance, challenge, social, investment, and
emotional tuning. The least support was provided for
The major goal of Schiefele and Schaffner's the dimensions of rewards, utilitarian, efficacy, moral
(in press) study was to examine whether students' ity, convenience/flexibility, facilitation of sleep, and fill
responses to questionnaire measures of reading moti ing time. As was noted previously, efficacy represents a
vation developed by Wigfield and Guthrie (1997b), precondition but not an inherent component of reading
Möller and Bonerad (2007), and Schaffner and Schief motivation.
ele (2007a) coincided with students' subjective views of The remaining two dimensions—curiosity and
their own reading motivation. To address this question, work avoidance—were each identified in two of the
Schiefele and Schaffner conducted interviews with 26
four studies. Thus, they should be considered in further
sixth-grade students and applied content analysis to research on reading motivation. This seems particularly
examine the interview protocols. The findings revealed true for curiosity. Although, the students in Schiefele
13 categories of reading motivation (see Table 1): and Schaffner's (in press) study did not mention that
1. Enjoyment—Reading is experienced as posi category when they answered the open, nondirected
tive and enjoyable without specifying particular question regarding their reading motivation, curiosity
reasons (or reading for interest) appeared as a major category
when students were more directly asked for it.
2. Imagination—To project one's thoughts in a story
or to get involved with the characters of a story

Results
3. Absorption—To become deeply From Quantitative
absorbed and Research
forget all things around oneself Probably the most widely used questionnaire to mea
4. Suspense—To get to know whatsure readingnext
happens motivation
in is Wigfield and Guthrie's
a story or because a story is very exciting
(1997b) MRQ. The MRQ and differing versions of it
haveone's
5. Relaxation—To relax or to get been used
mindby these
offauthors and their associates
things (e.g., Baker & Wigfield, 1999; Taboada, Tonks, Wig
field, & Guthrie, 2009; Wang & Guthrie, 2004) as well as
6. Regulation of emotions—To cope with sadness
or anger
by other researchers (e.g., Logan, Medford, & Hughes,
2011; Unrau & Schlackman, 2006). In addition, Möller
7. Relief from boredom—To overcome boredom
and Bonerad (2007) and Schaffner and Schiefele (2007a)
8. Filling time—Because other, more preferred developed German adaptations of the MRQ. Greaney
activities are not available
and Neuman (1990) developed an earlier questionnaire.
9. Competence—To improve one's competence The MRQ comprises 11 dimensions that were
10. School task—Because of homework or other derived from motivation theory (e.g., self-determination
tasks assigned by the teacher theory, goal theory) and from interviews with students
(Guthrie et al., 1996; see earlier discussion). Ten of these
11. Competition—To outperform other students in
school dimensions correspond to the categories of reading
motivation identified by Guthrie et al. (1996): curiosity,
12. Social context—Because parents or peers value
involvement, competition, recognition, grades, chal
reading and because it allows talking with par
lenge, work avoidance, social, compliance, and effi
ents or peers about books cacy. The following qualitatively determined categories
13. Facilitation of sleep—To get tired and fall asleepof reading motivation were not included in the MRQ:
more easily investment, emotional tuning, utilitarian, and rewards.
The reasons for their exclusion remain unclear. Con
versely, the dimension of importance (of being a capa
It should be noted that school task, facilitation of sleep,
ble reader) was added to the MRQ even though it was
and competition were each indicated by only one or two
students. not suggested by the findings from Guthrie et al. (1996).
Apart from using different terms, the results of Based on theoretical considerations and factor anal
qualitative studies on reading motivation reviewed hereyses, Wigfield and Guthrie (1997b) defined composite
show considerable consistency. This was most apparent scales to tap intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation.
for the category of reading experience. All studies idenThe composite scale for intrinsic motivation included
tified qualities of reading experience as an important the dimensions curiosity, involvement, and efficacy. In
contrast to Wigfield and Guthrie (1997b), we consider
dimension of reading motivation (see Table 1). More
over, despite some minor differences in definition, most
only curiosity and involvement as components of intrin
sic reading motivation (see earlier discussion). This is
of the categories were found in at least three of the four
studies. This applies to the following components (usingsupported by Guthrie, Wigfield, Metsala, and Cox

434 Reading Research Quarterly • 47(4)

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(1999) as well as Wang and Guthrie (2004), who argued motivation by means of analyzing students' essays on
that reading efficacy represents a theoretically indepen their own reading motivation. They used statements from
dent construct and should not be included as part of these essays to construct a reading motivation question
intrinsic motivation. Instead, these authors identified naire that was administered to students (n > 3,000) in dif
challenge as a third component of the intrinsic motiva ferent countries to examine whether the 10 components
tion composite. However, the preference for challeng of reading motivation were independent and whether
ing text materials may be regarded as an outcome of they were similar in different cultural settings. By means
intrinsic and/or extrinsic reading motivation (see later of factor analyses, three distinct functions or factors were
discussion). identified in most of the countries: utility, enjoyment, and
Whereas intrinsic reading motivation is focused on escape. In some countries there were two utility factors:
incentives within the reading process, extrinsic reading educational and moral. In addition, a single enjoyment/
motivation is directed at incentives that represent con escape factor was observed in a few countries.
sequences of reading. Accordingly, the composite scale The first factor (utility) incorporates both moral
for extrinsic motivation comprises competition, recog and educational aspects. Students with high utility val
nition, and grades. In our view, compliance could also ues indicated that they read to know how to help their
be classified as a dimension of extrinsic reading moti country, to live and work better, and to be shown the
vation because it represents external pressure by the right way to live (utility/moral). They also viewed read
school as a motivational force. In fact, Wang and Guth ing as contributing to academic and vocational success
rie (2004) have added both compliance and social to the and considered reading useful because of the impor
extrinsic motivation composite. Whereas we agree on tance that parents placed on it (utility/educational). The
compliance, in our view, the social subscale should not utility factor comprises items from the following quali
be regarded as a form of extrinsic motivation (see later tatively determined functions of reading (see previous
discussion). discussion): general learning, goals, self-respect, utility,
Watkins and Coffey (2004) criticized the fact that and morality.
Wigfield, Guthrie, and their colleagues have not con The second factor (enjoyment) pertains to read
ducted factor analyses of all MRQ items simultane ing for enjoyment. Students with high scores on this
ously. Instead, Wigfield and Guthrie (1997b) conducted component found reading enjoyable, interesting, and
factor analyses separately on the items from each exciting. More specifically, they considered reading to
subscale (because of the small sample size) and then be a stimulating process that allowed them to become
factor analyzed scale values to determine higher order absorbed in stories. For example, reading allows them
dimensions. In a similar fashion, Baker and Wigfield to go "into another world and have an adventure" or
(1999) conducted confirmatory factor analyses of three imagine themselves as "a person in a story" (Greaney
different sets of MRQ subscales (instead of the entire & Neuman, 1990, p. 185). The enjoyment factor is based
item set). In addition, Watkins and Coffey noted that on items from the qualitatively derived reading func
Wigfield, Guthrie, and their colleagues have used in tions enjoyment and stimulation.
their research either particular subscales of the MRQ The third factor (escape) relates to the use of read
or slightly changed versions of it (e.g., Cox & Guthrie, ing for escapist purposes. Students scoring high on
2001; Wang & Guthrie, 2004). this factor read to avoid boredom and when they have
On the basis of exploratory and confirmatory fac nothing better or more exciting to do (e.g., watching a
tor analyses, Watkins and Coffey (2004) concluded that TV show, meeting friends). For these students, reading
the structure of the MRQ is best characterized by eight functions as a source of distraction and relaxation. In
factors. However, the authors reported a lack of success addition, reading may help to forget personal worries
in cross-validating the eight-factorial structure and or overcome negative feelings. The items of this factor
thus recommended a substantial revision of the MRQ. stem from the qualitative reading functions escape and
The eight dimensions that were identified by Watkins relief from boredom.
and Coffey largely coincide with the following origi Taken together, Greaney and Neuman's (1990)
nal MRQ factors: curiosity, involvement, competition, analyses resulted in a considerably smaller number of
recognition, work avoidance, social, and efficacy. The reading motivation dimensions than was suggested by
eighth factor (grades/compliance) represents a combi Wigfield and Guthrie (1997b). However, Greaney and
nation of grades and compliance. Both challenge and Neuman's factors are rather broadly defined and allow
importance were not substantiated as factors of reading for subsuming several of Wigfield and Guthrie's factors.
motivation. This is in line with our consideration that For example, the MRQ scales curiosity and involve
these factors should not be regarded as components ofment can both be assigned to Greaney and Neuman's
reading motivation (see later discussion). dimension of enjoyment.
As described previously, Greaney and Neuman Möller and Bonerad (2007) and Schaffner and
(1990) determined 10 different aspects of readingSchiefele (2007a) developed overlapping adaptations of

Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 435

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the MRQ. Both research groups tested German trans of that finding, Watkins and Coffey (2004) were also not
lations of the original MRQ items. Neither research able to replicate the factors challenge, importance, and
group could replicate all of the MRQ components compliance (which loaded together with grades on a
(cf. Table 2). Möller and Bonerad's (2007) Question common factor). Thus, it can be concluded that the fac
naire of Habitual Reading Motivation includes four tor structures of the two German questionnaires and
dimensions: reading enjoyment (not part of the MRQ), Watkins and Coffey's version of the MRQ are largely in
reading for interest, competition in reading, and read agreement. Only work avoidance was confirmed by Wat
ing self-concept. In contrast, Schaffner and Schiefele kins and Coffey but was not included in either Möller and
(2007a) did not consider reading self-concept or effi Bonerad's or Schaffner and Schiefele's instruments.
cacy as a reading motivation dimension. Their Reading Schaffner and Schiefele (2007a) demonstrated evi
Motivation Questionnaire encompasses five compo dence for two second-order factors, namely intrinsic
nents (see also Table 2): object-, experience-, perfor reading motivation (indicated by object- and experi
mance-, and competition-oriented as well as social ence-oriented reading motivation) and extrinsic reading
reading motivation. motivation (indicated by performance- and competition
The findings from Möller and Bonerad's (2007) and oriented and social reading motivation). It is also worth
Schaffner and Schiefele's (2007a) studies do not provide noting that the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of read
evidence for the MRQ components challenge, impor ing motivation tend to be positively correlated (Guthrie
tance, work avoidance, and compliance. In partial support et al., 1999; Schaffner & Schiefele, 2007a), thus indicating

Table 2. Dimensions of Reading Motivation: Results From Quantitative Studies

Correspondence with Wigfield and Guthrie's® categories

Categories of RM Schaffner and


according to Wigfield and Watkins and Coffey's' Möller and BoneradV Schiefele's6 adaptation
Guthrie's" MRQ reanalysis of the MRQ Greaney and Neumanc adaptation of the MRQ of the MRQ

Curiosity Curiosity Interest Object-oriented RM

Involvement Involvement Enjoyment Experience-oriented RM

Competition Competition Competition Competition-oriented


RM

Recognition Recognition Utility Social RM

Grades Grades/compliance Utility Performance-oriented


RM

Compliance Grades/compliance

Work avoidance Work avoidance

Challenge

Social Social

Importance

Efficacy Efficacy Self-concept

Categories that do not correspond with those of Wigfield and Guthrie's" MRQ

Escape

Enjoyment

Note. MRQ = Motivations for Reading Questionnaire; RM = reading motivation.


'Relations of Children's Motivation for Reading to the Amount and Breadth of Their Reading," by A. Wigfield and J.T. Guthrie, 1997, Journal of Educational
Psychology, 89(3), 420-432.
bReading Motivation: Multidimensional and Indeterminate," by M.W. Watkins and D.Y. Coffey, 2004, journal of Educational Psychology, 96(1), 110-118.
'The Functions of Reading: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, by V. Greaney and S.B. Neuman, 1990, Reading Research Quarterly, 25(3), 172-195.
dFragebogen zur Habituellen Lesemotivation (Habitual Reading Motivation Questionnaire]," by J. Möller and E. Bonerad, 2007, Psychologie in Erziehung und
Unterricht, 54(4), 259-267.
"Auswirkungen Habitueller Lesemotivation auf die Situative Textrepräsentation [Effects of Habitual Reading Motivation on the Situational Represention of
Text]," by E. Schaffner and U. Schiefele, 2007, Psychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht, 54(4), 268-286.

Reading Research Quarterly • 47(4)

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that reading usually is simultaneously—but to varying and dissimilarities of qualitative and quantitative read
degrees—motivated by intrinsic and extrinsic incentives. ing motivation research. Overall, a relatively close cor
To summarize the quantitative studies, it should respondence between qualitative and quantitative
be first noted that the development of the MRQ was dimensions of reading motivation was found. This is
informed by the results from interviews with students particularly true for those qualitative dimensions that
on their motivation to read. Thus, the dimensions of were identified in at least two of the four studies that
the MRQ cannot be regarded as purely theoretical con we have considered. The correspondence between
structs without empirical support. The factor analyses qualitative and quantitative factors can be explained
of the MRQ by Watkins and Coffey (2004) suggest that by the fact that the MRQ was based on a qualitative
eight factors should be distinguished (see Table 2). Fur interview study and served as the basis of the question
ther clarification of the factor structure derives from
naires by Schaffner and Schiefele (2007a) and Möller
theoretical considerations. As we have argued herein, and Bonerad (2007).
reading efficacy represents a precondition and not a A few qualitative dimensions (rewards, utilitarian,
component of reading motivation. However, it certainly morality, convenience/flexibility, facilitation of sleep,
should be an important factor in future research on and filling time) were observed in only one of the quali
reading motivation and may be even assessed as a part tative studies and, thus, might be viewed as not worthy of
of reading motivation instruments. further research. However, the qualitative findings sug
Similar arguments may apply to importance, chal gest that the experience of reading may be more differ
lenge, and social aspects. The dimension of importance entiated than is demonstrated in questionnaire studies.
also appears to be a precondition of reading motivation Whereas Wigfield and Guthrie's (1997b) MRQ included
(intrinsic and/or extrinsic). In contrast, the dimension only involvement as a relevant experiential aspect of
of challenge may be regarded as a consequence of read reading motivation, Greaney and Neuman (1990) and
ing motivation. For example, if a student is motivated Schiefele and Schaffner (in press) suggest that in addi
by curiosity, then challenging or complex text materi tion to involvement (which corresponds to stimulation
als are most conducive to that motivation by helping the in Greaney and Neuman's study and to imagination in
student learn more about particular topics. Finally, the Schiefele and Schaffner's study), the aspects of emo
item contents of the social scale suggest that this dimen tional tuning, relief from boredom, absorption, enjoy
sion assesses the preference for and frequency of liter ment, and relaxation should also be considered.
ary practices within the family and the peer group (e.g.,
visiting a library, talking about books). These aspects
may represent the impact of socialization contexts that
Reading Motivation
are relevant to the development of reading motiva
tion (Klauda, 2009; Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 2006; and Reading Behavior
Sénéchal, 2006). Thus, the social scale does not reflect a Motivation is assumed to increase individuals' com
genuine dimension of reading motivation. petence by facilitating the persistence and intensity of
If we take into account both the analysis of Watkins performing activities being conducive to gains in com
and Coffey (2004) and the aforementioned theoretical petence (Schunk et al., 2008; Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997b).
considerations, then it follows that only seven factors Accordingly, reading motivation should be related to
should be considered as genuine dimensions of reading particular aspects of reading behavior (e.g., time spent on
motivation: curiosity, involvement, competition, recog reading) that contribute to the development of reading
nition, grades, compliance, and work avoidance. Schaff and comprehension skills. Past research has focused on
ner and Schiefele's (2007a) questionnaire covers all of the relation between reading motivation and three differ
these dimensions with the exception of compliance and ent aspects of reading behavior: the amount of reading,
work avoidance. Interesting, Greaney and Neuman's the use of reading strategies, and preferences for differ
(1990) and Möller and Bonerad's (2007) scales comple ent text genres. The Findings of these lines of research
ment each other and, when taken together, cover the are summarized in the following sections (goal 3). Sub
same MRQ dimensions as Schaffner and Schiefele's sequently, we deal with the association between reading
(2007a) scale. Thus, it seems justified to conclude that motivation and various indicators of reading competence
prior research is largely in agreement with respect to the (goal 4). In addition, the role of reading behavior as a
major dimensions of reading motivation. mediator of motivational effects on reading competence
will be analyzed. All of the reviewed studies and their
basic features are listed in Table 3.
Comparison Between Qualitative It should be noted that we focus on studies that have
and Quantitative Approaches captured what we regard as genuine reading motivation
Our second goal was to analyze the dimensionality constructs as they were defined in the preceding sec
of reading motivation by dealing with the similarities tions. This entails the seven core dimensions of reading

Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 437

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Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 443

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motivation identified previously as well as nonspecific or increasing out-of-school reading. Reading motivation
global measures of intrinsic and extrinsic reading moti was assessed twice during the school year (in the fall
vation, including reading attitude and intrinsic value of and spring). To measure the amount of out-of-school
reading. However, we present results with respect to other reading in the prior and present year, the parents were
constructs, such as reading self-concept, if these are part asked to record over a two-year period the time that
of a study involving at least one of the genuine dimen their children spent on reading each day, including all
sions of reading motivation. Studies on goal orientations kinds of reading materials but excluding homework.
are not considered because the respective constructs are The results revealed significant positive correlations
not defined as reading-related forms of motivation. between (present and prior year) reading amount
and both intrinsic and extrinsic aspects of (fall and
spring) reading motivation (.21 < r < .37). However, in
Reading Amount a regression analysis controlling for the effect of prior
Past research has shown significant associations year reading amount, only (fall) extrinsic motivation (a
between reading amount and several important aspects composite of recognition, grades, and competition), but
of students' achievement and performance, such as not (fall) intrinsic motivation (a composite of curiosity,
world knowledge, social engagement, and reading com involvement, and efficacy), contributed significantly to
prehension (Ecalle & Magnan, 2008; Guthrie, Schäfer, reading amount in the present year.
& Hutchinson, 1991; Harlaar, Dale, & Plomin, 2007; In a study by Baker and Wigfield (1999), reading
Mol & Bus, 2011). For example, the amount of read for enjoyment was measured by two questions adapted
ing has been found to predict orthographic processes from the RAI. Specifically, the students rated how
required for word recognition (Bráten, Lie, Andreassen, often they read a book for fun last week and how often
& Olaussen, 1999) and growth in reading comprehen they generally read for fun. The correlations of reading
sion during elementary school (Anderson, Wilson, & amount with all dimensions of the MRQ (except work
Fielding, 1988; Cipielewski & Stanovich, 1992). avoidance) were statistically significant and positive.
To investigate the relation between reading moti Involvement and challenge showed the highest posi
vation and reading amount, different ways to measure tive correlations with reading amount (r = .51 in both
reading amount have been used, including students' cases), whereas the weakest correlation was obtained
self-reports and parents' recordings of of their children's for competition (r = .14). In addition, the correlation
reading times. The Reading Activities Inventory (RAI; between work avoidance and reading amount was
Guthrie, McGough, & Wigfield, 1994) assesses students' significantly negative (r = —.24).
amount of reading for school and for enjoyment. Both Guthrie et al. (1999) examined the contribution of
parts include several pairs of items that are related to the reading motivation to general reading amount (based
same theme. The first item in each pair asks the respon on the RAI, involving both reading for enjoyment and
dents how often they read about a theme in the last week. for school). Regression analyses revealed that intrinsic
If the students answer yes, they are asked to add the title, reading motivation (a composite of curiosity, involve
author, or specific theme of the book. The second item ment, and challenge) and extrinsic reading motivation
refers to students' general amount of reading about a par (a composite of recognition and competition), entering
ticular theme. Three different themes (science, literature, the regression equation separately, contributed signifi
history) are considered for measuring reading for school, cantly to reading amount, even when prior knowledge,
whereas reading for enjoyment is assessed with respect prior reading competence, and reading efficacy were
to six themes (e.g., sports, romance, nature). Because controlled. The effects of intrinsic motivation (ß = 0.33)
the RAI assesses the amount of students' reading with and extrinsic motivation (ß = 0.36) were both positive
respect to different themes, it can also be used to mea and of similar size. However, because intrinsic and
sure reading breadth or reading preferences. extrinsic motivations were not simultaneously entered in
Other scales to assess reading amount have an the regression model, it is unclear whether these factors
explicit focus on reading for enjoyment (leisure time made unique contributions to reading amount. Reading
reading). They do not distinguish between reading efficacy did not significantly predict reading amount.
themes or materials and usually ask for indicating the Cox and Guthrie (2001) investigated the contri
frequency and length of reading activities (e.g., "How butions of reading motivation, strategy use, and prior
many hours do you read outside school on a weekday?"; reading competence (assessed six months earlier) to
Becker, McElvany, & Kortenbruck, 2010). amount of reading for school and for enjoyment. Five
MRQ subscales (curiosity, involvement, recogni
tion, competition, and challenge) were used to create
Overview of Studies a composite score of general reading motivation. This
In Wigfield and Guthrie's (1997b) study, students
measure showed significant positive correlations with
participated in a reading program geared towardboth reading amount for school and for enjoyment.

444 Reading Research Quarterly • 47(4)

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However, when controlling for strategy use and prior The same explanation applies to the somewhat smaller
reading competence, general reading motivation discrepancy between findings from correlational
contributed only to the prediction of enjoyment reading and structural equation model analyses pertaining to
(explaining an additional 5% of the variance). Because amount of reading for school.
the authors used a reading motivation composite Tercanlioglu (2001) assessed amount of reading for
involving both intrinsic and extrinsic aspects, it school and for enjoyment with respect to the last week
remains unclear whether these aspects were differently and in general. By means of correlation analyses, it was
associated with reading amount. shown that the general amount of reading for school
Wang and Guthrie (2004) addressed the relations was significantly associated with curiosity, involvement,
between reading motivation and reading amount in competition, recognition, and efficacy (.17 <,r< .24). Sur
U.S. and Chinese samples of elementary school stu prising, the general amount of reading for enjoyment
dents. In both groups, the intrinsic aspects of reading exhibited no significant correlations with any of the
motivation showed significant positive correlations MRQ scales. However, the amount of reading for enjoy
with the amount of reading for enjoyment, whereas the ment in the last week was significantly correlated with
extrinsic aspects were mostly uncorrelated with reading challenge (r = .28), efficacy (r = .24), and work avoid
for enjoyment. Amount of reading for school displayed ance (r = -.23).
generally low or nonsignificant correlations with intrin Lau (2009) used a modified version of the MRQ
sic and extrinsic dimensions of reading motivation. By to obtain four distinct measures of reading motiva
means of structural equation modeling with latent vari tion: intrinsic, extrinsic, and social reading motiva
ables, the authors examined the unique contributions tion as well as reading efficacy. A measure of reading
of the composite scores of intrinsic motivation (curios amount was derived from an abbreviated version of the
ity, involvement, and challenge) and extrinsic motiva RAI without differentiating between reading for school
tion (recognition, competition, grades, compliance, and for enjoyment. Correlations revealed that all four
and social) to students' reading for enjoyment and for motivation variables were significantly positively asso
school. Amount of reading for school was significantly ciated with reading amount. The unique effects of the
and moderately positive associated with intrinsic but motivation variables on reading amount were tested by
not extrinsic motivation. With respect to the amount of means of a path model. For junior students, it was found
reading for enjoyment, the results confirmed a strong that intrinsic motivation (ß = 0.28) and social motiva
positive contribution of intrinsic motivation and a tion (ß = 0.26), but not extrinsic motivation and reading
medium-size negative contribution of extrinsic motiva efficacy, contributed significantly to the prediction of
tion. Prior reading achievement did not relate to either reading amount. In the sample of senior students, only
measure of reading amount. intrinsic motivation emerged as a significant predictor
Interesting, the latent correlations between intrin of reading amount (ß = 0.38).
sic motivation and reading for enjoyment (U.S.: r = .45; Möller and Bonerad (2007) assessed four different
Chinese: r = .40; p < .01) were considerably lower than aspects of reading motivation: reading enjoyment, read
the path coefficients in the structural equation models ing for interest, competition, and reading self-concept.
(U.S.: ß = 0.85; Chinese: ß = 0.89; p < .01). In the case of A single-item indicator provided a measure of students'
extrinsic motivation, the latent correlations with read amount of reading for enjoyment. Scores on all moti
ing for enjoyment were positive (U.S.: r = .18; Chinese: vation subscales correlated significantly and positively
r = .15; p < .05), in contrast to the negative coefficients with students' amount of reading. Reading enjoyment
in the structural equation models (U.S.: ß = -0.44; displayed the highest correlation with reading amount
Chinese: ß = -0.57; p < .01). The discrepancy between (r = .56). Reading for interest and self-concept were
the findings from correlational and structural equation moderately correlated with reading amount (r = .31 and
analyses is due to the high latent correlation between .28, respectively), whereas the contribution of competi
intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (U.S.: r = .75; Chinese: tion was significant but negligible (r = .06).
r = .81) and a corresponding reciprocal suppression McElvany, Kortenbruck, and Becker (2008) exam
effect. ined the mutual relations between intrinsic reading
According to Wang and Guthrie (2004), the high motivation, amount of reading for enjoyment,2 and
correlation between intrinsic and extrinsic motiva reading comprehension in a longitudinal study from
tion induced a positive spurious effect of extrinsic
grade 3 to grade 6. Intrinsic motivation and reading
motivation and a negative spurious effect of intrinsic
for enjoyment were assessed by short, self-constructed
motivation on reading for enjoyment, such that questionnaires.
the All variables were measured in grades
weakly positive correlation between extrinsic motiva
3, 4, and 6. The results showed significant and rather
tion and reading amount became strongly negative, high concurrent correlations (.60 <rS .75) as well as
and the positive correlation between intrinsic motiva
significant and medium-size longitudinal correlations
tion and reading amount became even more positive. (.40 árá .49) between intrinsic motivation and reading

Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 445

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for enjoyment (some of these results were also reported reading for school. Half of the studies referred only to
by McElvany, Becker, & Lüdtke, 2009.) reading for enjoyment, whereas the other half either
Becker et al. (2010) analyzed the same data set as assessed both reading for enjoyment and for school,
McElvany et al. (2008) but used different indicators or used a general score of reading amount (involving
of intrinsic motivation, reading for enjoyment, and both reading for enjoyment and for school). With only
one exception (Cox & Guthrie, 2001), all of the stud
reading competence. In addition, Becker et al. included
a measure of extrinsic reading motivation. Only grade ies distinguished between indicators of intrinsic and
4 measures of reading motivation and reading amount extrinsic reading motivation. Given the differential
were included in the analyses. Intrinsic and extrinsicrelations between dimensions of reading motivation
motivation and reading amount were defined as latent and the two measures of reading amount, the use of
variables. Intrinsic motivation involved the follow composite measures of reading amount does not seem
ing manifest indicators: reading enjoyment, intrinsicjustified.
value of books, and importance of reading. Extrinsic Taken together, only two studies (Tercanlioglu,
motivation was represented by motivation provided 2001;by Wang & Guthrie, 2004) allow conclusions with
respect to differential relations between intrinsic and
parents, motivation provided by the school, and motiva
tion resulting from instrumental goals. extrinsic motivation on the one side and amount of
Amount of reading for enjoyment was assessed by reading for enjoyment and for school on the other side.
means of students' self-reports and parents' ratings.
Whereas Wang and Guthrie reported mostly signifi
cant relations between reading motivation and reading
The analysis of correlations among the latent variables
revealed a high positive association between intrinsic
for enjoyment but weaker relations between reading
motivation and reading amount (r = .85). In contrast,
motivation and reading for school, Tercanlioglu's study
extrinsic motivation showed a small negative associashowed the opposite finding. In addition, Wang and
Guthrie demonstrated that intrinsic motivation was
tion with reading amount (r = -.14). However, by means
of structural equation analyses that included both
more strongly related to reading for enjoyment than
was extrinsic motivation. The latter finding is further
intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as well as prior (grade
3) reading competence as predictors, it was shown thatsupported by other studies (Baker & Wigfield, 1999;
only intrinsic motivation exhibited a significant and Becker et al., 2010; Lau, 2009) that mostly showed at
strong unique effect on reading amount (ß = 0.81). least moderately sized correlations between intrinsic
motivation and reading amount. The unusually high
Durik et al. (2006) tracked students' reading-related
task value beliefs and reading self-concept between correlation of .85 between intrinsic motivation and read
grades 4 and 10 and examined the relations of these ing for enjoyment obtained by Becker et al. was a latent
constructs with amount of reading for enjoyment. correlation and, thus, corrected for measurement error.
Concurrent correlations of intrinsic value, importance In contrast to other studies, Wigfield and Guthrie
(1997b) reported relatively low correlations between
value, and self-concept with students' reading amount
(all variables measured in grade 10) were low but significomponents of intrinsic reading motivation and
(out-of-school) reading amount. In addition, a nonsig
cant. Moreover, grade 4 intrinsic value (r = .19) and grade
nificant effect of intrinsic motivation on reading amount
4 self-concept (r = .15) displayed significant longitudinal
associations with (grade 10) reading amount. Path
was found when students' prior reading amount was
controlled. It should be noted, however, that Wigfield
analyses, including gender, English grades, and parents'
and Guthrie's study deviates from other studies in
level of education (e.g., college graduate) as additional
several respects. First, the authors had parents rate their
predictors, confirmed that grade 4 intrinsic value exerted
children's out-of-school reading. Thus, no self-reports
an indirect effect (through grade 10 intrinsic value) and
were used, and the assessment of reading amount did
an additional direct effect (ß = 0.18) on grade 10 reading
amount, while grade 4 self-concept showed an indirect not explicitly address reading for enjoyment. Second,
effect (through grade 10 self-concept) but no direct the students took part in a school reading program that
effect on reading amount. No significant contribution aimed at increasing their out-of-school reading. This
of importance to reading amount was found. Because program used rewards and social recognition, which
intrinsic value and self-concept were examined in sep were given to those children who read most frequently.
arate analyses, the unique effects of these variables Perhaps
on the contribution of intrinsic motivation to read
reading amount were not estimated. ing amount was thus reduced because reading at home
was influenced by extrinsic incentives. Third, Wigfield
and Guthrie's measure of reading amount referred not
Summary only to book reading (as is usually the case) but also to
The reviewed studies clearly suggest that indicators of reading of comics or magazines. According to results
reading amount fall into two groups: reading for enjoy obtained by Philipp (2010; see later discussion), intrin
ment (out-of-school reading, leisure time reading) and sic motivation should be more predictive of the amount

446 Reading Research Quarterly • 47(4)

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of reading of books than of comics, newspapers, or intrinsic motivation and amount of reading for enjoy
magazines. ment when controlling for extrinsic motivation.
Positive associations between intrinsic reading
motivation and reading amount were also shown when
Reading Strategies
accounting for relevant control variables, such as prior
Students who are intrinsically motivated to read
knowledge, prior reading achievement, grade level,
not only read more in their leisure time but also, it is
gender, parents' education, reading efficacy, extrin
assumed, comprehend text materials at a deeper level
sic reading motivation, and other motivational factors
(e.g., by engaging in enhanced inference processes) and
(Becker et al., 2010; Durik et al., 2006; Guthrie et al.,
use more complex strategies (e.g., organization; Guthrie
1999; Lau, 2009; Wang & Guthrie, 2004). Some of the
et al., 1996). In contrast, extrinsic motivation to read is
reviewed studies also revealed positive and significant
hypothesized to facilitate shallow text processing and
correlations between extrinsic reading motivation and
the use of superficial learning strategies (e.g., rehearsal).
reading amount, although these correlations were gen
Experimental studies examining the effects of different
erally low (r < .30). Whereas Baker and Wigfield (1999)
motivational instructions on text learning have sup
and Wigfield and Guthrie (1997b) found that all con
ported these assumptions (see overview by Schaffner
sidered components of extrinsic motivation (with the
& Schiefele, 2007b). Although these studies assessed
exception of work avoidance) were positively associated
current motivation to learn instead of habitual reading
with students' amount of reading for enjoyment, Wang
motivation, their findings are relevant in the present
and Guthrie demonstrated such associations only for context because current motivation and habitual read
competitive and social reading motivation. In addition,
ing motivation are interrelated (Guthrie, Hoa, Wigfield,
Wang and Guthrie found significant and positive corre
Tonks, & Perencevich, 2006; Schaffner & Schiefele,
lations between school reading amount and both com
2007a). Thus, it may be assumed that habitual reading
petition and compliance. Finally, Becker et al. obtained
motivation affects the quality of strategic processing
a weak negative (latent) correlation between extrinsic
while reading.
motivation and enjoyment reading amount. In this
study, however, different aspects of extrinsic motivation
(provided by parents, school, and instrumental goals)
Overview of Studies
were assessed than in those studies using the MRQ. Guthrie et al. (1996) investigated the relation between
The association between extrinsic reading motiva intrinsic reading motivation and comprehension strat
tion and reading amount has been also examined while egies. Based on interviews with students who partici
controlling for other predictors. The results of these pated in the CORI program, Guthrie et al. identified 14
analyses are varied. Positive effects of extrinsic motiva categories of reading motivation (see earlier discussion).
tion on reading for enjoyment and general reading were In addition, four types of reading strategies were mea
obtained by Wigfield and Guthrie (1997b; with prior sured by means of different CORI tasks: searching and
reading amount controlled) and Guthrie et al. (1999; selecting relevant texts (searching), expressing what was
with prior knowledge, prior reading achievement, and learned either graphically (drawing) or verbally (writ
reading efficacy controlled). Nonsignificant effects ing), and finding similarities between newly acquired
of extrinsic motivation were shown by Lau (2009) on and prior knowledge (conceptual transfer). In support
general reading amount (additional predictors: intrin of their assumptions, Guthrie et al. found high correla
sic and social motivation, reading efficacy), by Becker tions (grade 3 :r— .70; grade 5: r = .81) between intrinsic
et al. (2010) on enjoyment reading amount (additional motivation (a composite of involvement, social, emo
predictors: prior reading achievement, intrinsic motiva tional tuning, and efficacy) and strategy use (a com
tion), and by Wang and Guthrie (2004) on school read posite of searching, drawing, writing, and conceptual
ing amount (additional predictor: intrinsic motivation). transfer). However, it cannot be concluded that intrinsic
Moreover, the results of Wang and Guthrie showed a reading motivation was responsible for gains in strat
negative effect of extrinsic motivation on reading for egy use. Instead, the applied intervention program may
enjoyment when intrinsic motivation was controlled. have facilitated students' motivation and strategy use
Overall, it seems that the effects of extrinsic moti at the same time and, thus, may have increased their
vation on indicators of reading amount vary depend intercorrelation.
ing on the control variables included in the analyses. Cox and Guthrie (2001) analyzed the relation
Controlling for intrinsic motivation seems to lead to between general reading motivation and self-reported
nonsignificant or even negative associations between strategy use (referring to prior knowledge activation,
extrinsic motivation and reading amount. This self-questioning, integrating multiple texts, and self
finding is most likely due to a suppression effect. regulation). The findings revealed moderate to high
Accordingly, Wang and Guthrie (2004) observed a correlations between reading motivation and strategy
substantial strengthening of the association between use (Grade 3: r = .66; grade 5: r = .36).

Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 447

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Law (2009) assessed intrinsic reading motivation about reading or learning strategies and the appropriate
by adapting items from the MRQ that mainly tapped conditions of their use; Baker, 1989). To assess strategy
the dimension of curiosity, whereas their measure of knowledge, students were asked to rate the appropriate
extrinsic reading motivation comprised six items from ness of different reading or learning strategies in six dif
the MRQ dimensions competition, recognition, grades, ferent situations (cf. Schlagmüller & Schneider, 2007).
and social. The use of global, problem-solving, and Knowledge of reading strategies is assumed to be a rel
support reading strategies was assessed by means of evant precondition of using reading and learning strate
an adapted version of Mokhtari and Reichard 's (2002) gies to facilitate text comprehension (Kuhn & Pearsall,
Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies Inven 1998; Schunk & Rice, 1989). Strategy knowledge showed
tory. The findings revealed a significant correlation significant correlations with object-oriented (r = .23)
between overall strategy use and intrinsic motivation and experience-oriented motivation (r = .16) but not
(r = .43) but not extrinsic motivation (r = -.14). with performance-oriented (r = —.06) and competition
Andreassen and Bráten (2010) adapted the MRQ to oriented motivation (r = -.05). However, in a structural
examine the relations between intrinsic reading moti equation model with latent variables, a significant posi
vation (a composite of involvement, challenge, impor tive effect of intrinsic motivation (ß = 0.36) and a signif
tance, and efficacy), extrinsic reading motivation (a icant negative effect of extrinsic motivation (ß = —0.18)
composite of competition, recognition, grades, compli were obtained.
ance, work avoidance, and social), and reading strategy These results were replicated in a second sample
use. To assess strategy use, the participants had to read and, in line with Wang and Guthrie's (2004) results,
a text and write down (a) their predictions about the demonstrated the occurrence of a suppression effect.
text content, (b) three good questions about the text, However, in a similar study by Schaffner and Schiefele
(c) explanations for two words from the text, and (d) a (2008), the positive relation between intrinsic motiva
short summary of the text (cf. Lederer, 2000). The stu tion and strategy knowledge turned out to be nonsig
dents were awarded points for mentioning important nificant when reasoning ability was controlled. In that
concepts (in the case of tasks a, b, and d) and for giv study, intrinsic motivation was measured by means of
ing correct explanations (task c). Correlation analyses the Programme for International Student Assessment
indicated a significant (but low) association between (PISA) reading interest scale (Kirsch et al., 2002). The
strategy use and intrinsic motivation (r = .18) but not items of this scale are aimed at capturing how much an
extrinsic motivation (r = -.02). individual likes reading in general. Extrinsic motivation
Lau and Chan (2003) compared good and poor was not assessed. Thus, the nonsignificant contribution
readers who were classified according to their scores of intrinsic motivation may be explained by the failure
on a standardized reading comprehension test. To to take into account a possible suppression effect.
measure reading strategy use, the students read mul Anmarkrud and Bráten (2009) examined reading
tiple text paragraphs and answered questions referring value and reading efficacy as predictors of deeper (e.g.,
to eight different strategies (e.g., deletion of redundant elaboration) and surface reading strategies (e.g., mem
information, inferring word meaning by context clues). orization). Their measure of reading value comprised
The comparison of good and poor readers revealed sig items related to importance, utility, and interest value.
nificant differences with respect to all reading strate Analyses of correlations showed significant associations
gies, intrinsic reading motivation (based on the MRQ between strategy use and reading efficacy (r = .26 for
dimensions curiosity and involvement), and reading deeper strategies; r = .29 for surface strategies) but not
efficacy but not extrinsic reading motivation (based on reading value (r = .19 for deeper strategies; r = .18 for
the MRQ dimensions competition, recognition, and surface strategies).
grades). High intrinsic motivation and high strategic
ability were thus combined in students with high lev
els of reading comprehension. Furthermore, in the total Summary
sample (both good and poor readers), significant cor Positive associations between intrinsic reading moti
relations between a composite strategy score and both vation and diverse reading strategies were reported
intrinsic (r = .37) and extrinsic motivation (r = .19) as in all reviewed studies. The nonsignificant findings
well as reading efficacy (r = .16) were obtained. A sub of Anmarkrud and Bráten (2009) may be due to the
sequent regression analysis involving all of the moti fact that their measure of reading value entailed both
vational variables as predictors indicated that only intrinsic and extrinsic components. Guthrie et al.
intrinsic motivation was a significant predictor of strat (1996) showed that intrinsic motivation and strategies
egy use. both changed in tandem when students participated
Schaffner and Schiefele (2007a) investigated the rela in the CORI reading comprehension program. Lau
tions between intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation and Chan (2003) compared good and poor readers
and metacognitive strategy knowledge (i.e., knowledge and revealed that they differed in intrinsic motivation

448 Reading Research Quarterly • 47(4)

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and comprehension strategies as well. Neither of these reading breadth. The students answered whether they
studies analyzed additional predictors to strengthen read a particular book in the last week for pleasure and
causal conclusions. how often they read it.
Schaffner and Schiefele (2007a) confirmed a posi The results revealed significant positive correla
tive association between intrinsic reading motivationtions (.23 < r <, .51) with students' breadth of book
and metacognitive strategy knowledge when extrinreading for all MRQ subscales (either in the fall or
sic reading motivation was controlled. In a similar the spring or at both measurement points) except
study that controlled reasoning ability, Schaffner and competition and compliance. Curiosity (r = .50) and
Schiefele (2008) reported a nonsignificant effect of involvement (r = .51) showed the highest associations
intrinsic motivation on strategy knowledge. However, with reading breadth, whereas work avoidance cor
as mentioned earlier, the failure to include extrinsicrelated negatively with reading breadth (r = —.28).
motivation in that study may have led the researchWhen spring reading breadth was predicted by intrin
ers to underestimate the effect of intrinsic motivation. sic motivation (a composite of curiosity, involvement,
Taken together, previous studies could not provide and efficacy) and extrinsic motivation (a composite of
sufficient evidence for a substantial relation between competition, recognition, and grades) with fall read
intrinsic motivation and students' strategy use while ing breadth being controlled, only intrinsic motivation
reading. contributed significantly to students' breadth of book
The relation between extrinsic reading motivation reading. Changes in students' reading breadth between
and reading strategies was investigated in four studies. fall and spring were thus related to intrinsic but not
By means of regression analyses, Lau and Chan (2003) extrinsic motivation.
revealed nonsignificant contributions of extrinsic and Möller and Retelsdorf (2008) examined whether
social reading motivation to strategy use. This is in different dimensions of reading motivation predicted
line with the findings of Law (2009), Andreassen and students' preferences to read narrative and expository
Braten (2010), and Schaffner and Schiefele (2007a), who texts. Correlations revealed that all dimensions of
reported nonsignificant correlations between extrinsic reading motivation were positively and significantly
reading motivation and strategy use or strategy knowl associated with students' preferences for reading
edge. In addition, Schaffner and Schiefele showed that narrative and expository texts. However, by means
the effect of extrinsic reading motivation on strategy of regression analyses that included all motivation
knowledge becomes negative when intrinsic reading subscales and German grades as predictors, it was
motivation is taken into account. However, none of demonstrated that only reading for interest and reading
these studies included cognitive control variables, and enjoyment (but not competition or self-concept)
thus, interpretation of their findings is restricted. contributed significantly and uniquely to students' pref
erences for reading. In accordance with expectations,
reading for interest proved to be more strongly related
Reading Preferences
to the preference to read expository (ß = 0.28) than
Different aspects of reading motivation are based on dif
narrative texts (ß = 0.15), whereas reading enjoyment
ferent reasons for reading that are seemingly connected
with different kinds of text. A student who reads to was more predictive of the preference to read narra
tive (ß = 0.30) than expository texts (ß = 0.21). This
experience excitement during reading probably prefers
pattern of findings may be explained by the assump
different texts (e.g., criminal stories, adventure books)
tion that narrative texts are more apt to induce positive
than a student who is highly motivated by the desire
emotional experiences (enjoyment) among students,
to outperform other students in school. The question
whereas expository texts are more suited to the purpose
of whether reading motivation is related to students'
of learning about interesting topics.
preferences for particular text genres (e.g., narrative
Philipp (2010) investigated the associations between
vs. expository text) or text materials (e.g., comics vs.
intrinsic reading motivation and students' reading
books) has been examined in only a few studies.
preferences in a longitudinal study. The measure of
intrinsic motivation was based on the PISA reading inter
Overview of Studies
est scale and focused on the experience of enjoyment
Wigfield and Guthrie (1997b) were interested in thewhile reading. Reading preferences were indicated by
relation between reading motivation and readingself-reported frequency of reading different text genres
and materials (narrative and expository texts, comics,
breadth, which they defined as a preference for multiple
themes and genres. Both reading motivation and read magazines, and newspapers) voluntarily during leisure
ing breadth were measured in the fall and spring of time. The results showed significant cross-sectional
the school year. Only the five items on book readingcorrelations between intrinsic motivation and prefer
(general, mystery, sports, adventure, and nature) were ence for different text genres. The highest correlations
selected from the RAI to create a composite score of
emerged between intrinsic motivation and preference

Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 449

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for narrative texts (grade 5: r = .68; grade 6: r = .71), fol research on the association among competence beliefs,
lowed by preference for newspapers (only assessed in goal orientations, and reading skills of young children.
grade 6 :r— .35), expository texts (grade 5: r = .22; grade
6: r = .33), magazines (grade 5: r = .23; grade 6: r = .23),
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Reading Motivation
and comics (grade 5: r = .11; grade 6: r = .18). The par
ticularly strong association with reading narrative texts is
Overview of Studies
in agreement with the finding of Möller and Retelsdorf Baker and Wigfield (1999) examined bivariate cor
(2008) that reading enjoyment is associated more closely relations between reading competence and all MRQ
with the reading of narrative texts than the reading of subscales. The results were complex and differed
expository texts. between the two measures of reading competence (see
Table 3) and between ethnic and gender subgroups.
Summary Overall, only moderate to low correlations (r < .30)
The results of Wigfield and Guthrie (1997b) and Möller were found. In addition, only white students and girls
and Retelsdorf (2008) suggest that intrinsic and extrin exhibited significant correlations between reading
sic reading motivation are positively related to students' competence and several intrinsic and extrinsic dimen
breadth of reading and their preferences for expository sions of reading motivation. Baker and Wigfield did
and narrative texts. Moreover, in both studies, intrin not report motivation-performance correlations for
sic motivation turned out to be more closely associ gender by ethnicity subgroups. The obtained pattern
ated with students' reading preferences than extrinsic of correlations suggests that reading motivation is
motivation was. It thus seems that the choice of read particularly predictive of reading competence in the
ing themes depends more on students' intrinsic thancase of white girls.
Guthrie et al. (1999) combined the MRQ scales of
extrinsic motivation. This is supported by Wigfield
intrinsic
and Guthrie's finding that the effect of intrinsic (but and extrinsic reading motivation in a compos
not extrinsic) motivation on reading breadth was main ite measure of general reading motivation and found a
tained when prior reading breadth was controlled. nonsignificant correlation between that measure and
reading comprehension. Cox and Guthrie (2001), who
used the same measure of general reading motivation as
Guthrie et al. but a different test of reading competence,
Reading Motivation
confirmed this finding.
and Reading Competence Wang and Guthrie (2004) compared samples of
The fourth goal of this review involves synthesizing U.S. and Chinese students. Structural equation mod
research findings on the relation between differenteling analyses revealed significant direct effects of
aspects of reading motivation and indicators of reading composite scores of intrinsic reading motivation (U.S.:
competence (reading skills, comprehension). This secß = 0.64; Chinese: ß = 0.73) and extrinsic reading moti
tion is organized according to the different constructs vation (U.S.: ß = —0.57; Chinese: —0.68) as well as prior
of reading motivation. In the first part, studies involvingreading achievement (U.S.: ß = 0.35; Chinese: ß = 0.35)
indicators of intrinsic and/or extrinsic reading motiva on reading comprehension. As was found for reading
tion are summarized. In the second part, research refer amount (see earlier discussion), the observed zero-order
ring to reading attitude and reading-related task value iscorrelations between reading comprehension and both
synthesized. Finally, we analyze research findings perintrinsic reading motivation (U.S.: r = .19; Chinese:
taining to the causal direction of effects and the role ofr = .29; p < .01) and extrinsic reading motivation (U.S.:
reading behavior as a mediator of the effects of readingr = -.07; Chinese: r = .03; ns) were considerably lower
motivation on reading competence (goal 5). than the path coefficients in the structural equation
Our review of research is focused on studies that
models. This effect is related to the high correlation
have captured what we regard as genuine reading moti between intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation.
vation constructs. Excluded dimensions are considered, Guthrie, Hoa, et al. (2007) interviewed students
in September and December of a school year to learn
however, if they are part of a study involving at least
one of the genuine dimensions of reading motivation. about their interests in different kinds of books, prefer
ences for having choices of what to read, involvement
We chose not to review research pertaining exclusively
to reading efficacy, reading self-concept, or goal orien with books, social aspects of reading, and their reading
tations. In our view, reading efficacy and reading selfefficacy. Separate regression analyses were conducted
concept are potential antecedents but not components to examine how these motivation variables predicted
of reading motivation, whereas goal orientations are growth in reading comprehension from September to
not defined as reading-related forms of motivation in December. Interest, choice, and involvement, but not
the existing literature. In addition, Morgan and Fuchs social and efficacy, significantly predicted compre
(2007) have recently provided a comprehensive review ofhension growth. More specifically, both interest and

450 Reading Research Quarterly • 47(4)

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involvement explained 12% of the variance in compre negative correlation (r = —.21) for extrinsic motivation.
hension growth, and choice explained 22%. However, a regression model with reading strategy use
Unrau and Schlackman (2006) tested structural and implicit beliefs as additional predictors resulted in
equation models in which grade level, gender, and com nonsignificant regression coefficients for both intrinsic
posite scores of intrinsic reading motivation (curiosity, and extrinsic motivation. Presumably, because of a non
involvement, challenge) and extrinsic reading motiva significant correlation between intrinsic and extrinsic
tion (competition, recognition, grades, compliance, motivation, a suppression effect was not observed.
social) were included as predictors of students' perfor Andreassen and Bráten (2010) assessed intrinsic and
mance on a standardized test of reading vocabulary and extrinsic reading motivation, strategy use, word recog
comprehension. The assumed direct effects of intrin nition skills, and working memory capacity. Six months
sic reading motivation (ß = 0.55) and extrinsic reading later, standardized multiple-choice tests of sentence
motivation (ß = -0.47) were observed for Asian but comprehension (test 1) and text comprehension (test
not Hispanic students. In accordance with Wang and 2) as well as a researcher-developed multiple-choice
Guthrie's (2004) findings, the latent correlation between test of text comprehension (test 3) were administered.
intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation was quite The findings revealed significant positive correlations
high (Asian: r = .87; Hispanic: r = .91), and as a conse (.15 < r < .26) between intrinsic motivation and all three
quence, the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation comprehension measures. In contrast, correlations
only emerged when they were simultaneously included between extrinsic motivation and reading comprehen
in the prediction model. However, this did not work sion were either nonsignificant (test 1: r = -.05; test
for the Hispanic group. The authors attributed the low 2: r = —.11) or significantly negative (test 3: r = —.15).
impact of reading motivation on the Hispanic students' The results from regression analyses indicated that
reading competence to cultural characteristics: His the unique contribution of the predictors varied across
panic students, who tend to represent an involuntary comprehension tests. Extrinsic reading motivation did
minority in contrast to Asian students, were assumed to not contribute uniquely to performance in any of the
not internalize certain values of American society. three comprehension tests, whereas intrinsic reading
Lau and Chan (2003) found that good readers were motivation was a significant predictor of text compre
higher than poor readers on intrinsic reading motiva hension as measured on test 2 (ß = 0.17).
tion but not on extrinsic or social reading motivation. Logan et al. (2011) were particularly interested in
Additional analyses of the total sample (both good and exploring whether intrinsic reading motivation (a com
poor readers) revealed significant correlations with per posite of curiosity, involvement, and challenge) explains
formance on a standardized test of reading vocabulary more variance in reading comprehension of low- than
and comprehension for intrinsic motivation (r = .34), of high-ability readers. Poor, moderate, and good read
extrinsic motivation (r = .20), and social motivation ers were identified by means of a standardized reading
(r = .17) but not reading efficacy (r = .12). comprehension test. For the whole sample, regression
Law (2008) investigated the relation between extrin analyses revealed significant contributions to current
sic reading motivation (measured by six items from reading comprehension only for verbal IQ and decod
the MRQ scales competition, recognition, grades, and ing skills. Intrinsic motivation was not a significant
social), home literacy, parents' support, classroom predictor, although it correlated significantly (r = .30)
instructional practices, and reading comprehension. with comprehension. However, the analysis of poor
The bivariate correlation between extrinsic motiva versus good readers showed that the comprehension
tion and reading comprehension was not significant. of poor readers was most strongly and significantly
However, when entering home literacy, parents' sup
predicted by intrinsic motivation (ß = 0.61) and decod
port, and both children's and parents' perceptions ing skills
of (ß = 0.30), whereas only verbal IQ was pre
instructional practices into a regression model, extrinsic
dictive in the group of good readers. When testing the
motivation contributed significantly and negatively to
contribution of intrinsic motivation against that of prior
reading comprehension (ß = —0.12). reading comprehension (assessed nine months earlier)
Law (2009) examined the relations between
to examine intrinsic motivation as a predictor of com
implicit beliefs about intelligence and ability, prehension
intrin growth, the findings revealed a strong and
significant effect of intrinsic motivation on current
sic and extrinsic reading motivation, reading strategy
use, and higher order reading comprehension. The comprehension for poor readers (ß = 0.70) but
reading
same extrinsic motivation scale was used as in Law's not for good readers (ß = 0.08, ns). In these analyses,
(2008) study. The measure of intrinsic motivation corhowever, neither verbal IQ nor decoding skills were
responds closely to the MRQ dimension of curiosity. included.
With respect to the prediction of reading comprehenLogan et al. (2011) explained the differential effect of
sion, a significant positive correlation (r = .20) was
intrinsic motivation on good and poor readers by assum
obtained for intrinsic motivation and a significant ing that poor readers with high intrinsic motivation

Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 451

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are less frustrated by their low comprehension ability. indicators of reading comprehension involving exposi
Instead, they may be more inclined to persevere with tory and narrative text materials. The authors reported
difficult text material. It follows that high-ability readers correlations ranging from .22 to .35 between reading
are not in need of support through intrinsic motivation. interest and measures of reading comprehension. In a
However, when drawing conclusions from Logan et al.'s similar study, Schaffner and Schiefele (2008) found a
results, one should bear in mind that extrinsic motiva significant regression coefficient for the relation between
tion was not assessed. The studies reported previously reading interest and reading comprehension (ß = 0.17)
(e.g., Wang & Guthrie, 2004) found that the effect of when controlling for features of family background,
intrinsic motivation becomes more pronounced when reasoning ability, and prior knowledge. Furthermore,
controlling for extrinsic motivation. Also, these stud Schaffner and Schiefele (2007a) observed signifi
ies found strong effects for intrinsic motivation without cant positive contributions of object-oriented (r = .20)
distinguishing between good and poor readers. and experience-oriented intrinsic reading motivation
Retelsdorf, Koller, and Möller (2011) conducted a (r = .14) as well as significant negative contributions of
longitudinal study that was aimed at identifying unique performance-oriented (r = —0.16) and competition-ori
effects of reading motivation on reading comprehen ented extrinsic reading motivation (r = —.13) to reading
sion when controlling for reasoning ability, decoding comprehension.
skills, and aspects of family background (e.g., number McElvany et al. (2008) analyzed the relations
of books at home). Indicators of intrinsic motivation between intrinsic reading motivation and reading
(reading enjoyment, reading for interest), extrinsic comprehension in a longitudinal study from grade
motivation (competition), and reading self-concept 3 to grade 6. The results showed significant correla
were assessed in grade 5. Reading comprehension was tions between intrinsic reading motivation and reading
measured in grades 5, 6, and 8. Significant and substan comprehension between .19 and .32. Similar findings
tial correlations with comprehension were only obtained were reported by McElvany et al. (2009) and Becker
for reading enjoyment (.27 < r < .32). Correlations for et al. (2010), who used the same data set as McElvany
reading for interest were also significant but rather low et al. (2008) but conducted different analyses. In their
(.05 < r < .09), whereas competition was weakly and reanalyses of the original data set, McElvany et al.
negatively (but significantly) associated with compre (2009) tested a model that included intrinsic motiva
hension (-.08 < r < -.10). tion, enjoyment reading amount, knowledge of vocabu
In addition, Retelsdorf et al. (2011) were able to lary, family background indicators, and prior reading
demonstrate that the contributions of reading enjoy comprehension (all measured in grade 4) as predictors
ment and competition (but not reading for interest) of grade 6 reading comprehension. The results showed
remained significant when taking the control variables that intrinsic motivation was no longer a significant
into account. Moreover, the authors applied latent predictor of comprehension. Becker et al. made use of
growth curve analyses to examine the effects of all a measure of extrinsic reading motivation in addition
predictors on comprehension growth from grade 5 to to intrinsic reading motivation. They reported cor
grade 8. The only significant predictors of growth were relations for latent variables and found that intrinsic
gender (females had more growth than males), number motivation measured in grade 4 was significantly and
of books at home, reasoning ability, and reading for positively associated with reading competence in grade
interest. Although the concurrent correlation between 4 (r = .37) and grade 6 (r = .38), whereas extrinsic moti
reading for interest and grade 5 comprehension was not vation was significantly and negatively related with
significant, reading for interest (in contrast to reading reading competence in grade 4 (r = —.52) and grade 6
enjoyment) proved to be a significant predictor of com (r = —.64).
prehension growth. Park (2011) used the U.S. data from the Progress in
Artelt, Schiefele, Schneider, and Stanat (2002) ana International Reading Literacy Study (Mullis, Mar
lyzed data from the German PISA sample of students tin, Kennedy, & Foy, 2007) and analyzed the relation
in grades 8-10 and examined intrinsic reading motiva between reading comprehension and both intrinsic
tion (using the PISA reading interest scale) and reading and extrinsic reading motivation as well as reading
self-concept as predictors of the students' scores on the self-concept. Intrinsic motivation was defined as read
PISA reading comprehension test. Reasoning ability, ing enjoyment, whereas extrinsic motivation referred to
decoding skills, and metacognitive knowledge of learn disparate aspects. Only one of these aspects seems to
ing strategies were included as additional predictors. be clearly extrinsic in nature ("I need to read well for my
The findings revealed low but significant contributions future"), whereas the other two aspects either address
of the same size (ß = 0.07) for intrinsic motivation and an intrinsic component ("I would be happy if someone
self-concept. gave me a book as a present") or the preference for read
Schaffner, Schiefele, and Schneider (2004) used the ing-related social exchange ("I like talking about books
PISA reading interest scale as a predictor of various with other people").

452 Reading Research Quarterly • 47(4)

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The findings showed significant correlations with reasoning and verbal ability, strategy use, decoding
reading comprehension for intrinsic motivation (r = .32) skills, working memory, reading self-concept, and
as well as self- and peer-referenced reading self-concept family background variables. In most of these studies
(r = .26 and .32, respectively) but not for extrinsic moti (Artelt et al., 2002; Guthrie, Hoa, et al., 2007; Retels
vation (r = .01). By means of multilevel regression anal dorf et al., 2011; Schaffner & Schiefele, 2008; Taboada
yses, Park (2011) obtained a significant positive effect et al., 2009; Wang & Guthrie, 2004), the effects of
of intrinsic motivation (and for the two self-concept reading motivation remained significant. However,
indicators) as well as a significant negative effect of Law (2009), Logan et al. (2011), and McElvany et al.
extrinsic motivation. In addition, Park found evidence (2009) did not confirm the unique contributions of
for a curvilinear relation between extrinsic motivation reading motivation. Andreassen and Bráten (2010)
and reading comprehension and a significant interac found significant unique contributions of intrinsic
tion between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. These motivation to only one of three indicators of reading
two effects created a rather complex pattern of results comprehension.
that, in our view, should be replicated before drawing Logan et al.'s (2011) study is particularly interest
far-reaching conclusions. For follow-up studies, it seems ing because it suggests that intrinsic reading motivation
essential to use a measure of extrinsic reading motivais only predictive for poor readers. Unfortunately, the
tion that is in line with prior conceptualizations of the authors did not include a measure of extrinsic read
construct. ing motivation. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that
Taboada et al. (2009) had teachers rate theintrinsic internal motivation is also predictive for good read
reading motivation (mostly aspects of intrinsic moti be also noted that in contrast to Lau and
ers. It should
vation and efficacy) of grade 4 students and Chan related
(2003), Logan et al. did not find significant mean
this measure to their reading comprehension. Other in intrinsic motivation between good and
differences
variables included were prior knowledge and poorstudent
readers.
questioning (students were instructed to write Past research has suggested that intrinsic and
text
related questions that were rated accordingextrinsic to their reading motivation should not be studied in
level of complexity and elaboration). All variables isolation. Some of the reviewed studies observed sup
were
assessed at the same time (time 1). The comprehension pression effects that are most likely due to the high
tests, however, were administered again three correlation
months between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
later (time 2). The findings showed significant and their
correopposing effects on reading competence.
lations between internal motivation and comprehen Thus, rather strong positive contributions for intrin
sion at time 2 (multiple-choice: r = .42; free-response:sic motivation and strong negative contributions for
r = .49). Regression analyses involving time extrinsic 1 compre motivation were found when both variables
hension, prior knowledge, and student questioning were simultaneously tested as predictors of reading
as additional predictors revealed significant competence
unique (Unrau & Schlackman, 2006; Wang &
contributions of internal motivation (multiple-choice: Guthrie, 2004).
ß = 0.11; free-response: ß = 0.23) to comprehension This finding
at was not confirmed by Law (2009) or
time 2. Andreassen and Bráten (2010). In both of these cases,
however, the researchers used strongly adapted ver
sions of earlier MRQ composite measures (e.g., Wang &
Summary Guthrie, 2004). Because of the possibility of a substan
The reviewed studies consistently confirm that intrinsic tial suppression effect, all findings based on separate
reading motivation is moderately and positively related analyses of intrinsic or extrinsic motivation should be
to measures of reading competence. In contrast, extrinsic interpreted with caution. In addition, the suppression of
reading motivation was found to be either negatively or not variance may also explain why Guthrie et al. (1999) and
significantly associated with reading competence. Only a Cox and Guthrie (2001) found no significant correlation
few studies reported findings that deviate from these gen between reading competence and a composite reading
eral trends. Specifically, Baker and Wigfield (1999) and Lau motivation measure involving intrinsic and extrinsic
and Chan (2003) reported positive correlations between components. Furthermore, Park (2011) observed a cur
dimensions of extrinsic motivation and comprehension. In vilinear relation between extrinsic motivation and read
addition, there is evidence that the relation between read ing comprehension and a complex interaction between
ing motivation dimensions and reading competence varies intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Although these find
between ability, ethnic, and gender subgroups (e.g., Baker ings need to be replicated, they suggest that the rela
& Wigfield, 1999; Logan et al., 2011; Unrau & Schlackman, tion between intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation
2006; Wang & Guthrie, 2004). may be more complex than was assumed in previous
Several studies have considered control variables, research and should be addressed more fully in the
such as prior reading competence, prior knowledge, future.

Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 453

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Reading Attitude and Reading-Related Reading-Related Task Value
Task Value Studies of reading-related task value are rare. As shown
previously, Durik et al. (2006) examined intrinsic and
Reading Attitude importance value beliefs as well as reading self-concept
We have argued herein that measures of reading atti as predictors of high school achievement choices related
tude overlap conceptually with measures of intrinsic to literacy (e.g., number of language arts courses per year
reading motivation. Thus, findings showing substan of high school). However, they did not address the rela
tial relations between reading attitude and reading tion of task values to reading competence. In contrast,
competence also support the importance of intrinsic Solheim (2011) examined the effects of task values on
motivation. In fact, a recent meta-analysis of 32 studies reading comprehension but only included importance
(Petscher, 2010) demonstrated a moderately strong rela value beliefs; in our view, these represent an antecedent
tion between reading attitudes and various measures but not a genuine form of reading motivation.
of reading competence (,Z = 0.32). In contrast to the Nurmi and Aunóla (2005) employed a person-oriented
results of Morgan and Fuchs (2007) referring to com approach and investigated the association among four
petence beliefs and goal orientation, Petscher reported groups of students with different patterns of intrinsic task
a stronger reading attitude-competence relation for stu values attached to math, reading, and writing on the one
dents in elementary school (Z — 0.44) than for students side and academic performance in these subjects on the
in middle school (Zr = 0.24). In addition, one of the other side. In measuring intrinsic task values, the authors
reviewed studies (McKenna et al., 1995) is particularly referred to Eccles (1994). By means of a cluster analysis,
interesting because it revealed greater mean differences four motivational groups were identified: (1) high value
between groups of low-, average-, and high-ability read on all three subjects, (2) high value on math, (3) low value
ers in recreational reading attitude than in academic on math, and (4) low value on reading and writing. The
reading attitude. findings did not reveal significant differences in reading
In addition to the studies reviewed by Petscher competence between these four groups.
(2010), positive contributions of reading attitude to Anmarkrud and Briten (2009) examined reading
reading competence have been observed by Chap value and efficacy as predictors of comprehension.
man and Tunmer (1995), Gonlon, Zimmer-Gembeck, Their measure of reading value comprised items
Creed, and Tucker (2006), and Katzir, Lesaux, and related to importance, utility, and interest value. The
Kim (2009).3 In Chapman and Tunmer's study (experi results revealed significant correlations with read
ment 4), nonsignificant correlations between attitude ing comprehension for both value and efficacy. When
and various reading skill measures (e.g., word identi testing a regression model including school grades,
fication) in grade 1 and between attitude and reading topic knowledge, and strategy use as additional pre
comprehension in grade 4 were observed. However, a dictors, only reading value (ß = 0.24), but not reading
significant reading attitude-comprehension relation efficacy (ß = 0.12), remained a significant predictor of
was obtained for grade 5 students (r = .40). Chap comprehension.
man and Tunmer reported similar results for reading
self-concept.
Conlon et al. (2006) found significant contri Summary
butions of reading attitude and self-concept (mea Past research has provided evidence for a moderate rela
sured by Chapman & Tunmer's, 1995, questionnaire) tion between reading attitude and reading competence
to reading skills and comprehension. Regression (Petscher, 2010). In a few studies (e.g., Conlon et al.,
analyses (including nonverbal ability, rapid visual 2006), it was found that controlling for cognitive factors
processing, and both orthographic and phonologi (e.g., phonological skill) did not weaken the predictive
cal skill as additional predictors) revealed a signifi contributions of reading attitude. Because of a strong
cant effect of reading attitude on comprehension conceptual overlap, the evidence for substantial relations
(ß = 0.14), whereas self-concept exhibited signifi between reading attitude and reading competence sup
cant effects not only on comprehension (ß = 0.21) ports the importance of intrinsic reading motivation.
but also on word identification (ß = 0.33) and spell The findings for reading-related task values were
ing (ß = 0.38). In support of Conlon et al.'s findings, mixed. Nurmi and Aunóla (2005) did not find a signifi
Katzir et al. (2009) observed significant correlations cant contribution of intrinsic beliefs. However, it can
between reading comprehension and both reading be argued that intrinsic task value was related to read
attitude (r = .28) and self-concept (r = .42; assessed ing as a school subject but not directly to the activity of
by Chapman & Tunmer's questionnaire). These asso reading that may take place either in school or outside
ciations remained significant in a regression model of school. Thus, different results should be expected if
controlling for verbal ability and word and nonword intrinsic task values are more directly related to read
reading fluency and accuracy. ing. This consideration is supported by McKenna et al.

454 Reading Research Quarterly • 47(4)

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(1995), who observed that good and poor readers show grade 4 and grade 6 intrinsic motivation. In addition,
greater mean differences in attitude toward recreational grade 3 intrinsic motivation was significantly related
than academic reading. to grade 4 comprehension. This result suggests that
Using a measure of reading value comprising both early reading competence is predictive of later intrinsic
intrinsic and extrinsic components, Anmarkrud and reading motivation (significant path from grade 3 to
Braten (2009) found a significant relation between grade 6).
reading value and reading comprehension, even when In contrast, the cross-lagged effect of intrinsic moti
controlling for school achievement, topic knowledge, vation seems to be somewhat weaker and was only
strategy use, and reading efficacy. However, because observed from grade 3 intrinsic motivation to grade 4
they used a composite measure of intrinsic and extrinsic comprehension. It should be noted that McElvany et
task values, the relative importance of these compo al. (2008) did not include extrinsic motivation in their
nents remains unclear. model. Thus, the effect of intrinsic motivation may have
been underestimated because intrinsic and extrinsic
motivation are likely to exhibit a reciprocal suppression
Causal Direction of Relations
effect (Unrau & Schlackman, 2006; Wang & Guthrie,
and Mediation Processes 2004; see earlier discussion).
The fifth and final goal of the present review per Retelsdorf et al. (2011) also conducted a longitudi
tains to the evaluation of the empirical evidence on nal study and were able to show that reading enjoyment
the causality of motivational effects and the analysisand competition, in contrast to reading for interest,
of the role of reading behavior as a mediating variable. were significant predictors of concurrent reading com
Most of the reviewed studies represent correlationalprehension, even when controlling for cognitive skills as
research that does not allow causal conclusions. Even well as familial and demographic background variables.
studies involving a substantial time lag between mea However, when analyzing the growth of comprehen
sures of reading motivation and criterion variables are sion performance from grade 5 to grade 8, reading for
rare (e.g., Andreassen & Bráten, 2010; Logan et al., interest was the only significant motivational predictor
2011; Retelsdorf et al., 2011). However, there are sev(along with gender, number of books, and reason
eral studies available that have considered relevant ing ability). Thus, despite a nonsignificant correlation
alternative predictors of reading competence, suchbetween as grade 5 reading for interest and grade 5 com
cognitive ability, prior reading competence, strategy prehension, reading for interest substantially predicted
use, and background knowledge. The evidence from comprehension growth.
these studies at least partly supports the assumed This finding is particularly interesting because, on
causal direction of the effects of reading motivation on the one hand, it underlines the importance of intrin
reading amount and reading competence. Even more sic reading motivation for the development of reading
informative, however, are longitudinal studies and competence. On the other hand, it suggests that the two
studies investigating mediation processes. components of intrinsic motivation (reading for interest
In their review of reading-related competence
and reading enjoyment) have different effects and that it
beliefs and goal orientations, Morgan and Fuchs (2007) is not always appropriate to combine scores on the com
specifically addressed the directionality of the relations
ponents in an intrinsic reading motivation composite.
between these constructs and reading performance Specifically, in studies predicting growth in reading
in young children. They came to the conclusion that competence, it is to be expected that object-oriented
a bidirectional relation is most likely. However, they intrinsic reading motivation (i.e., curiosity, reading for
admitted that they could not present direct causal evi interest) exerts stronger effects than experience-oriented
dence because potentially confounding factors were not intrinsic reading motivation (i.e., involvement, reading
controlled in most studies and experimental designs enjoyment). A possible explanation for this finding may
have not yet been applied. be that reading to satisfy one's interest in certain topics
With respect to intrinsic reading motivation, a bidiinitiates reading of informational texts with challenging
rectional relation was also suggested by McElvany et al.levels of difficulty. In contrast, enjoyment of reading is
(2008). These researchers examined the development more associated with the reading of novels, stories, or
of reading comprehension and intrinsic motivation otherwise enjoyable leisure time literature. As a conse
quence, reading enjoyment may be correlated with the
from grades 3-6, as well as the mutual relations among
comprehension, motivation, and reading amount. Two level of reading competence but may not be strongly
cross-lagged panel models, either with or without read
conducive to gaining more competence in reading (cf.
ing amount, were analyzed. In the first model, onlyRetelsdorf et al., 2011).
measures of intrinsic motivation and comprehension for Guthrie, Hoa, et al. (2007) obtained similar findings.
grades 3, 4, and 6 were included. The findings revealed
In their study, interview-based measures of interest in
significant effects of grade 3 comprehension on both
reading, preference for choice, and involvement proved

Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 455

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to be significant predictors of growth in reading com The evidence for the mediation of effects of reading
prehension over a three-month period. Interesting, the motivation on reading competence through reading
opposite did not occur; scores on the comprehension amount or reading strategies is scarce. For example,
measure did not predict growth in motivation. Guthrie et al. (1999) assessed students' in grades 3
Logan et al. (2011) conducted an interesting study and 5 on their general reading motivation, reading
that also contributes to understanding the issue of amount, and text comprehension. However, although
causality. These authors examined the relative contribu scores on Guthrie et al.'s measure of motivation were
tions of intrinsic reading motivation, verbal IQ, decoding significantly related to reading amount, they did not
skills, and previous comprehension performance to the predict comprehension. In contrast, Wang and Guth
prediction of current comprehension performance in rie (2004) found significant associations of intrinsic and
groups of good and poor readers. In line with expecta extrinsic motivation with both reading amount and
tions, only poor readers' growth in comprehension was comprehension, but reading amount did not signifi
significantly predicted by intrinsic motivation. This cantly contribute to comprehension.
finding suggests that intrinsic motivation facilitates the More convincing evidence of the mediating role
development of comprehension ability in poor readers in of reading amount was provided by McElvany et al.
particular. Individual differences pertaining to verbal IQ (2008). As described previously, these authors ana
and decoding skills were held constant and thus cannot lyzed two cross-lagged panel models. In their second
explain the effect of intrinsic motivation. model, reading amount was added to the variables in
An important aspect of investigating the causal the first model (intrinsic motivation, comprehension).
relation between reading motivation and reading com The results showed that there was a significant indirect
petence entails the analysis of mediating variables (see effect of grade 3 intrinsic motivation on grade 6 compre
Guthrie, Wigfield, & You, 2012, for further discussion of hension mediated by reading amount. In contrast, the
this issue). The most important potential mediator dis effects of comprehension on intrinsic motivation were
cussed in the literature is reading amount. Guthrie et al. not mediated by reading amount. Instead a significant
(1999) proposed various explanations for the assumed direct effect of grade 3 comprehension on grade 4
influence of reading amount on reading competence. intrinsic motivation was obtained.
First, the knowledge gained through frequent reading Although they used the same data set as McElvany
might facilitate comprehension. Second, it is plausible et al. (2008), Becker et al. (2010) obtained different
that reading a lot enhances reading-related compe results, which are most likely due to the addition of
tence beliefs. Thus, students are more likely to choose extrinsic motivation and the use of different operational
challenging texts, which in turn promotes reading definitions of intrinsic motivation and reading compe
comprehension. Third, the authors posit that frequent tence (see Table 3). Moreover, Becker et al. measured
reading increases reading effectiveness (e.g., reading motivation at grade 4 instead of grade 3. They first
speed, fluency). The increased effectiveness or autom conducted separate analyses for intrinsic and extrinsic
atization of reading reduces the load on memory and motivation and examined in each case grade 4 read
frees up further resources for comprehension processes ing amount as a mediator of the effects of motivation
(e.g., identifying main ideas, drawing conclusions). on grade 6 reading competence. For intrinsic motiva
According to Cipielewski and Stanovich (1992), tion, Becker et al. observed a substantial mediation
students who frequently read perform better on read effect, but not for extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic moti
ing tasks than do students with the same intellectual vation exerted a significant negative direct effect on
abilities who do not read much. Cunningham and competence. The picture changed, however, when both
Stanovich (1997) estimated that 23% of the progress in intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as well as grade 3
reading comprehension made from grade 5 to grade 10 reading competence were included in the model. In this
can be predicted by reading amount. Evidence shows case, grade 6 competence was significantly positively
that both out-of-school and in-school reading activi predicted by grade 3 competence and significantly neg
ties are associated with reading comprehension (Elley, atively predicted by extrinsic motivation. There was no
1992; Metsala & Ehri, 1998). Experiments have con indirect effect of intrinsic motivation mediated by read
firmed the assumed direction of this relationship. For ing amount because the latter variable was no longer
example, in a study by Morrow (1996; see also Mor significantly related to reading competence.
row, Pressley, Smith, & Smith, 1997), students whose It should be noted that Becker et al.'s (2010)
reading time at school was increased outperformed extrinsic reading motivation measure differed con
a control group on measures of reading competence. siderably from measures used in research based on
In addition, joint verbal activities in the family as well the MRQ (e.g., Unrau & Schlackman, 2006; Wang &
as parental reading amount predict children's reading Guthrie, 2004). Becker et al. focused on social recog
amount and reading motivation (Klauda, 2009; Retels nition (through parents and teachers) and instrumen
dorf & Möller, 2008). tal goals. Instrumental goals were not clearly extrinsic

456 Reading Research Quarterly • 47(4)

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in nature (e.g., "I read because it is important to me Conceptualization of Reading Motivation
to know a lot"). In contrast, studies using the MRQ (Goal 1)
to measure extrinsic motivation have emphasized the
Our overview of reading motivation constructs revealed
dimensions of competition, grades, and compliance that the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic
(in addition to recognition and social aspects). Also
motivation plays a dominant role. Other constructs,
in contrast to prior research, in Becker et al.'s study,
particularly reading attitude and intrinsic task value,
intrinsic and extrinsic motivation were not signifi
strongly overlap with intrinsic reading motivation and,
cantly correlated.
thus, should not be viewed as distinct concepts. Other
It should be noted that McElvany et al. (2009), in
forms of task value, such as utility and attainment value
their reanalyses of the McElvany et al. (2008) data set
(Durik et al., 2006), however, are relevant as precondi
(see earlier discussion), demonstrated a nonsignificant
tions of reading motivation. The same applies to reading
contribution of grade 4 intrinsic motivation to grade 6
self-concept and efficacy, which we do not regard as
comprehension when controlling for amount of read
components of reading motivation but as factors con
ing for enjoyment, knowledge of vocabulary, family
tributing, most likely, to intrinsic reading motivation.
background indicators, and prior reading comprehen
The role of goal theory for conceptualizing reading
sion (all measured at grade 4). However, in their model, motivation is more difficult to evaluate. Past research
they did not include a path from intrinsic motivation
has failed to propose reading-related goals. Instead, the
to amount of reading for enjoyment, which in turn was
research has analyzed the association between general
a significant predictor of comprehension. Thus, the
occurrence of a mediation effect remains unclear in (not reading-related) goals (e.g., mastery and perfor
mance goals) and literacy-related learning assignments
these analyses.
(Graham et al., 2008; Meece & Miller, 1999) as well as
In sum, despite previous evidence of significant
measures of reading competence (Lepóla et al., 2000).
associations between reading amount and reading
Although Meece and Miller defined their goals more
competence on the one hand and among reading moti
specifically by referring to school-related literacy activi
vation, reading amount, and reading competence on
ties, they did not relate these goals directly to reading.
the other hand, the reviewed studies do not substan
Moreover, in our view, a meaningful application of goal
tially support the assumption that reading amount
orientation constructs, in addition to the established
explains the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic motiva
components of intrinsic and extrinsic reading moti
tion on reading competence. Furthermore, there is a
vation, to the domain of reading seems questionable.
lack of studies testing the role of reading strategies or
However, students' general achievement goal orienta
reading preferences as mediators of the effects of moti
tions may play an important role, together with task
vation on reading competence. Exceptions are stud
values and reading self-concept, as conditions for the
ies by Anmarkrud and Bráten (2009) and Law (2009).
development of (genuine) reading motivation.
However, these studies did not find evidence for the
mediating role of reading strategies.
Dimensions of Reading Motivation
(Goal 2)
A positive aspect of past research pertains to the
Conclusions
combination of quantitative and qualitative work. Most
The reviewed research on reading motivation has pronotably, Wigfield and Guthrie's (1997b) MRQ is based
vided important findings. These pertain not only to on interviews with students. As a result, the dimensions
the conceptualization and dimensionality of readingof the MRQ closely correspond with those dimensions
motivation but also to the effects of reading motivarevealed by qualitative research. We identified only two
tion on reading behavior and reading competence. interview-based categories (emotional tuning and relief
Despite considerable methodological differencesfrom boredom) that are not represented in the question
among the studies, there is substantial agreement onnaires reviewed in this paper and that should be pursued
the beneficial effects of intrinsic reading motivationin future research. In addition, the qualitative studies
and the relatively small or negative impact of extrin have suggested that the experience of reading involves
sic reading motivation. However, beyond these gen several distinguishable facets (e.g., absorption, enjoy
eral results, questions remain. Among those, probably ment, relaxation) that may warrant further analysis.
the most critical ones pertain to the relation between The dimensions of reading motivation as they
are currently assessed by questionnaires need more
intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and to the causality
of motivation effects on reading behavior and reading clarification. First of all, we believe that the number
competence. In the following, we briefly reiterate the of reading motivation components can be reduced if
main findings of our review and provide directions for those that should not be regarded as genuine reading
future research. motivation dimensions (i.e., importance and challenge

Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 457

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[usually included in the intrinsic motivation composite] reading behavior to reading comprehension may not
as well as social aspects [usually included in the extrin only depend on the amount or frequency of reading
sic motivation composite]) are excluded.4 In our view, but also on the nature of the reading material (Philipp,
the following should be regarded as genuine dimen 2010). As has been demonstrated by Alvermann and
sions of reading motivation: curiosity, involvement, Heron (2001; Alvermann, 2011), adolescents, who show
competition, recognition, grades, compliance, and work little interest in reading traditional books, journals, or
avoidance. newspapers, seem to be quite motivated to read popular
A further problem pertains to the common prac media texts. Students' interest in popular culture moti
tice of combining particular dimensions into composite vates their reading and other literacy-related activities
scores of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. In this case, that are conducive to academic literacy (see also Coles
evidence needs to be provided for these measurement & Hall, 2002; McKenna et al., 2012).
models by means of confirmatory factor analyses. The Although research clearly corroborates the assump
use of different composite scores by different researchers tion that intrinsic reading motivation is positively
prevents direct comparisons among studies. In addition, associated with reading strategies, there is a lack of
as was shown by Retelsdorfet al. (2011), using individual studies controlling for other cognitive or motivational
components of reading motivation (in addition to com factors. As an exception, Schaffner and Schiefele
posite scores) could provide important insights because (2008) reported that the effect of intrinsic motivation
components of the same composite may have different on strategy knowledge became nonsignificant when
effects. Finally, it is necessary to examine the measure controlling for reasoning ability. In addition, the asso
ment invariance (cf. Kline, 2005) of reading motivation ciation between reading strategies and extrinsic reading
questionnaires with respect to male and female students motivation has not been well studied. Consequently,
and different age and ethnic groups. the investigation of the relation between (intrinsic and
extrinsic) reading motivation and reading strategies
represents an important task for future research.
Reading Motivation and Reading The importance of intrinsic reading motivation was
Behavior (Goal 3) also evident in studies examining the prediction of read
The studies addressing the relation between reading ing preferences. More specifically, students' breadth
motivation and reading amount suffer not only from the of reading and preference for both informational and
use of different measures of reading motivation but also literary text materials seem to depend more on their
from the use of different measures of reading amount. intrinsic than extrinsic motivation. Significant relations
Specifically, only a few studies distinguished explicitlybetween intrinsic motivation and indicators of read
between reading for enjoyment (or leisure time reading) ing preferences were confirmed even when accounting
and reading for school. Other studies used either one of for relevant control variables (e.g., school achievement,
the two measures or a composite of both. However, the prior reading preferences).
reviewed findings have suggested that reading motiva
tion is more strongly related to reading for enjoyment
than to reading for school. This may be explained by Reading Motivation and Reading
the fact that school-related reading is more under the Competence (Goal 4)
control of teachers than is leisure reading. In addition, Above all, our summary of findings suggests that
it was demonstrated that intrinsic motivation is more reading competence is positively related to intrinsic read
strongly related to amount of reading for enjoyment than
ing motivation (including reading attitude and intrinsic
is extrinsic motivation (e.g., Wang & Guthrie, 2004).task values) and negatively or nonsignificantly related to
Of importance, positive associations between intrinsicextrinsic reading motivation. The positive association
motivation and reading amount were confirmed whenbetween intrinsic motivation and proficiency in reading
accounting for relevant control variables (e.g., priorcomprehension was confirmed even when controlling
reading achievement). In contrast, extrinsic motivation for a variety of relevant cognitive factors. Apart from this
seems to be weakly related to reading amount. general result, however, questions remain. These ques
Future studies involving reading amount need totions refer mainly to three issues. First, the nature of the
distinguish more clearly between reading for enjoymentrelation between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in pre
and school-related reading. In addition, different textdicting reading competence needs to be clarified. Some
materials (e.g., books, magazines) should be takenstudies have observed rather high positive correlations
into account. For example, the amount of reading forbetween intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (e.g., Wang &
enjoyment could be assessed with respect to comics,Guthrie, 2004) and strong suppression effects. In addi
magazines, and online texts as opposed to literary tion, Park (2011) found a complex interaction between
books (see also McKenna et al.'s, 2012, distinctionintrinsic and extrinsic motivation in predicting read
between print and digital texts). The contribution of ing competence. Second, nonlinear relations between

458 Reading Research Quarterly • 47(4)

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reading motivation and reading competence should be the text comprehension of a group of third-, fourth-,
considered. For example, Park demonstrated a curvilin and fifth-grade students was not increased by prac
ear relation between extrinsic motivation and reading tice reading when the students read easy materials. In
competence. Third, the strength of the relations between addition, Pfost, Dörfler, and Artelt (2010) found that
intrinsic and extrinsic motivation appears to vary for leisure time reading predicted comprehension only for
male and female students, younger and older students, those children whose parents were moderately or highly
good and poor readers, and different ethnic groups. educated. For students from families with low levels of
It is important for future research to address the education, no significant associations between reading
nature of relations between intrinsic and extrinsic moti amount and reading comprehension were obtained.
vation on the one side and between both intrinsic and As was reported by Kraaykamp and Dijkstra (1999),
extrinsic motivation and reading competence on theindividuals with high education levels seem to prefer
other side. The analysis of the nature of these relations more difficult texts. Thus, it might be concluded that
also depends on clarification of the dimensions of readstudents from families with lower education levels tend
ing motivation and how they are operationally definedto read less challenging or complex text materials that
in empirical research. Clearly, the size of the correla are less conducive to the development of reading com
tion between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and the petence than the text materials being read in families
occurrence of suppression, varies with the particular with higher education levels. Future research should
inventories used to measure these variables. take into account the level of challenge or complexity
of text materials when assessing indicators of reading
amount.
Causal Direction of Relations
and Mediation Processes (Goal 5)
A final issue concerns causal relations and mediat Directions for Future Research
ing processes. As was mentioned herein, longitudinal Although we have dealt with the five goals of t
studies examining the relations among reading moti review separately, the various issues and problems o
vation, reading amount, and reading competenceprevious are research are interconnected. For example,
rare. The reviewed evidence suggests a bidirectional those studies examining reading behavior and re
relation between intrinsic motivation and readinging comcompetence reached different conclusions at lea
petence (McElvany et al., 2008; Morgan & Fuchs, 2007). partly because they used different measures of the sam
Only one study (Becker et al., 2010) found a significant constructs of reading motivation. In addition, diffe
(negative) longitudinal effect of extrinsic motivation. ent sets of motivational predictors (e.g., only intrin
In addition, Retelsdorf et al. (2011), Guthrie, Hoa, etmotivation,
al. or intrinsic and extrinsic motivation) an
(2007), and Logan et al. (2011) provided evidence confounding
that cognitive variables were included in th
intrinsic motivation predicts growth of reading studies. com Thus, it should be a task of high priority f
petence even when controlling for various cognitive future research to reach a consensus on the definition
factors. of reading motivation (including its dimensions) and
The findings on the role of reading amount as a the use of individual and composite scales. The great
mediator of the effect of intrinsic motivation on read variety of measures and combinations thereof makes
ing competence are inconclusive. Positive evidence, it difficult to compare and evaluate the results from
for example, was provided by a longitudinal study byprior studies.
McElvany et al. (2008), who found a significant indirect Despite pleading for a consensus on measures of
effect of grade 3 intrinsic motivation on grade 6 readingreading motivation, we also see the need for exploring
competence mediated by reading amount. However, alternative measurement methods beyond self-reports.
Becker et al. (2010) came to a different conclusion even This seems to be of particular importance with respect
though they used the same data set (but different verto the measurement of reading behavior. In this case,
sions of the same variables) as McElvany et al. Despitealternative measures such as parents' reports (Becker
previous evidence of significant associations betweenet al., 2010; Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997b), teacher reports
reading amount and reading performance on the one (Wigfield et al., 2008), or student diaries (Allen, Cip
hand and among reading motivation, reading amount,ielewski, & Stanovich, 1992) seem advisable to validate
and reading performance on the other hand, the findings based on students' self-reports of reading
reviewed studies do not support the assumption thatamount, reading strategies, or reading preferences.
reading amount explains the effects of reading motivaMoreover, alternative methods to measure reading
tion on comprehension. motivation should be considered. Lepóla et al. (2000)
There is evidence that suggests text difficulty may provided a good example of a behavior-based method
play a moderating role when analyzing reading amountthat might be used. These researchers had experi
as a mediator. Carver and Leibert (1995) reported thatmenters rate students' behavior in particular situations

Dimensions of Reading Motivation and Their Relation to Reading Behavior and Competence 459

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to determine their goal orientations. Although we are Baker, L., & Wigfield, A. (1999). Dimensions of children's moti
vation for reading and their relations to reading activity and
hesitant to accept the motivational nature of these goal
reading achievement. Reading Research Quarterly, 34(4), 452-477.
orientations (see earlier discussion), the method of doi:10.1598/RRQ. 34.4.4
behavioral ratings (through teachers, parents, or peers) Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York:
could be fruitfully used to complement traditional W.H. Freeman.

research based on self-reports. Finally, recent efforts to Becker, M., McElvany, N., & Kortenbruck, M. (2010). Intrinsic and
extrinsic reading motivation as predictors of reading literacy:
develop instruments that differentiate between recre
A longitudinal study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(4),
ational and academic reading motivation and between 773-785. doi:10.1037/a0020084
reading of print and digital texts (e.g., McKenna et al., Bong, M. (1998). Tests of the internal/external frames of refer
2012) need to be further explored. ence model with subject-specific academic self-efficacy and
frame-specific academic self-concepts. Journal of Educational
Notes Psychology, 90(1), 102-110. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.90.1.102
Briten, I., Lie, A., Andreassen, R., & Olaussen, B.S. (1999). Leisure
1 According to attitude theory (e.g., Manstead, 1995), the assessment
time reading and orthographic processes in word recognition
of attitudes may not only involve affect but also the expression of
among Norwegian third- and fourth-grade students. Reading and
beliefs about the attitude object (cognition) or the expression of
Writing, 11(1), 65 88. doi:10.1023/A:1007976521114
behavioral intentions toward the attitude object (behavior).
Carver, R.R, & Leibert, R.E. (1995). The effect of reading library
2 Although the authors did not classify their measure of reading
books at different levels of difficulty upon gain in reading
amount, we propose that it indicates the amount of reading for
ability. Reading Research Quarterly, 30(1), 26-48. doi:10.2307/
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3 Only those studies not reviewed by Petscher (2010) are included
in Table 3. Chapman, J.W., & Tunmer, W.E. (1995). Development of
young children's reading self-concepts: An examination of
4This is not to say that social reading motivation should be
emerging subcomponents and their relationship with reading
discarded from reading motivation inventories. Wigfield and
achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 87(1), 154-167.
Guthrie's (1997b) scale of social aspects, however, deviates from doi:10.1037/0022-0663.87.1.154
their own theoretical definition and addresses the preference for
Cipielewski, J., & Stanovich, K.E. (1992). Predicting growth in
and frequency of reading-related activities with family and peers.
reading ability from children's exposure to print. Journal of Exper
Thus, it does not explicitly represent a form of reading motivation.
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