Reading and Writing

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 73–96 | Cite as

Relationships between sixth-graders’ reading comprehension and two different measures of print exposure

  • Louise Spear-SwerlingEmail author
  • Pamela O. Brucker
  • Michael P. Alfano


This study examined sixth-graders’ reading comprehension and component reading abilities in relation to two measures of print exposure: an author recognition test (ART) involving fiction authors and a reading habits questionnaire (RHQ) about children’s voluntary reading for enjoyment across various genres. The ART correlated only with children’s fiction book reading habits, not with other habits such as nonfiction book or magazine reading, and had a stronger relationship to all tested reading abilities than did the RHQ. Strong comprehenders in reading outperformed weak comprehenders on all component reading measures, ART score, and fiction habits; however, weak comprehenders scored higher than did strong comprehenders on the indicator of nonfiction reading habits. The two groups of comprehenders did not differ significantly on other reported reading habits. The results are discussed in relation to children’s specific book choices and demonstrate the relevance of genre to evaluations of children’s print exposure.


Author recognition tests Print exposure Reading Reading comprehension Reading habits 



This research was supported by a Connecticut State University research grant. We would like to extend our thanks to the children, teachers, and principals who participated in this project; to Kim Fitzner, Jackie Michaud, and Franziska Borner for their help with data collection; and to two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louise Spear-Swerling
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pamela O. Brucker
    • 1
  • Michael P. Alfano
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Special Education and ReadingSouthern Connecticut State UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Neag School of EducationUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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