Date of Graduation
The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between interest and comprehension in reading for early primary readers. Subjects selected for the present study were 144 students who attended two public elementary schools in an urban setting and four public elementary schools in a rural setting. Reading comprehension subtest scores of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test were obtained to determine each subject's reading ability and to place each in a high- or low-reading ability group. The other instruments used in the study--six listening introductory passages, an Interest Assessment Device (IAD), six reading passages and accompanying comprehension tests--were administered to subjects in each class. Subjects were given instruction and practice in the use of the IAD. Following instruction, subjects listened to six pre-recorded introductory passages and assessed them on the basis of interest. Based upon the results of the IAD, each student read his/her high-interest and low-interest passage and completed a corresponding literal and interpretive comprehension task. The data were analyzed using a t-test to determine if there were significant differences between the means of literal/interpretive comprehension scores corresponding to the highest- and lowest-interest passages for each subject. Each story was analyzed separately. The results of the study indicated that in general interest did not make a difference in either literal or interpretive reading comprehension of early primary readers. An analysis of variance was used to determine if there were differences between the mean scores of literal/interpretive comprehension according to the student characteristics of sex and ability, or by rural/urban school context. Overall there was no pattern of deficiencies in comprehension by sex or school setting. However, the results showed that overall there were significant differences by high- and low-ability levels in the mean scores with the interaction of ability in literal and interpretive comprehension for both high- and low-interest stories. Supplementary regression analysis indicated that only ability is a consistent predictor of either literal or interpretive comprehension. Interest alone never significantly predicted comprehension but did contribute significantly (in addition to GM (ability)) in the prediction of literal comprehension for more than half of the stories. Interest was a significant predictor of interpretive comprehension in only one study.
Holliday, Lillian Sylvia, "Interest as a factor in second-grade reading comprehension." (1989). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9051.