Reading and Writing

, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 1547–1565 | Cite as

The role of teacher behavior in adolescents’ intrinsic reading motivation

  • Jessie De NaeghelEmail author
  • Martin Valcke
  • Inge De Meyer
  • Nele Warlop
  • Johan van Braak
  • Hilde Van Keer


Given the weak intrinsic reading motivation of many adolescents on the one hand and the importance of this type of motivation for reading competence on the other hand, the aim of the present study is to identify the related role of teacher behavior. To pursue this aim, a secondary analysis was carried out on PISA 2009 data. More particularly, data of a subsample of 4,269 Flemish 15-year olds were examined by means of multilevel modeling. In line with self-determination theory, the results provide evidence for the significance of perceived autonomy-supportive, structured, and involved teacher behavior. Teacher involvement was most strongly associated with adolescents’ intrinsic reading motivation. Further, students’ perception of teachers’ autonomy support was particularly related to girls’ intrinsic reading motivation.


Intrinsic reading motivation Reading literacy Teacher behavior Self-determination theory 


  1. Connell, J. P., & Wellborn, J. G. (1991). Competence, autonomy, and relatedness: A motivational analysis of self-system processes. In M. R. Gunnar & L. A. Sroufe (Eds.), Self processes in development: Minnesota symposia on child psychology (Vol. 23, pp. 167–216). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227–268. doi: 10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_01.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. De Naeghel, J., Van Keer, H., & Vanderlinde, R. (2012a). Strategies for promoting autonomous reading motivation: A multiple case study research in elementary education. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  4. De Naeghel, J., Van Keer, H., Vansteenkiste, M., Haerens, L., & Aelterman, N. (2012b). Promoting elementary school students’ autonomous reading motivation: Effects of teacher professional development focused on an autonomy-supportive and structuring teaching style. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  5. De Naeghel, J., Van Keer, H., Vansteenkiste, M., & Rosseel, Y. (2012c). The relation between elementary students’ recreational and academic reading motivation, reading frequency, engagement, and comprehension: A self-determination theory perspective. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 1006–1021. doi: 10.1037/a0027800.Google Scholar
  6. De Naeghel, J., & Van Keer, H. (2013). The relation of student and class-level characteristics to primary school students’ autonomous reading motivation: A multilevel approach. Journal of Research in Reading, 36, 351–370. doi: 10.1111/jrir.12000.Google Scholar
  7. Gambrell, L. B. (1996). Creating classroom cultures that foster reading motivation. The Reading Teacher, 50, 14–25.Google Scholar
  8. Guthrie, J. T. (2008). Engaging adolescents in reading. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Guthrie, J. T., & Davis, M. (2003). Motivating struggling readers in middle school through an engagement model of classroom practice. Reading and Writing Quarterly, 19, 59–85. doi: 10.1080/10573560308203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Guthrie, J. T., McRae, A., & Klauda, S. L. (2007). Contributions of concept-oriented reading instruction to knowledge about interventions for motivations in reading. Educational Psychologist, 42, 237–250. doi: 10.1080/00461520701621087.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Guthrie, J. T., & Wigfield, A. (2000). Engagement and motivation in reading. In M. L. Kamil, P. B. Mosenthal, P. D. Pearson, & R. Barr (Eds.), Handbook of reading research: Volume III (pp. 403–422). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  12. Holloway, J. H. (1999). Improving the reading skills of adolescents. Educational Leadership, 57, 80–82.Google Scholar
  13. Hox, J. J. (1994). Applied multilevel analysis. Amsterdam: TT-publikaties.Google Scholar
  14. Jang, H., Reeve, J., & Deci, E. L. (2010). Engaging students in learning activities: It is not autonomy support or structure but autonomy support and structure. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 588–600. doi: 10.1037/A0019682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kao, G., & Thompson, J. S. (2003). Racial and ethnic stratification in educational achievement and attainment. Annual Review of Sociology, 29, 417–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Logan, S., & Johnston, R. (2009). Gender differences in reading ability and attitudes: Examining where these differences lie. Journal of Research in Reading, 32, 199–214. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2008.01389.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mouratidis, A., Vansteenkiste, M., Lens, W., & Sideridis, G. (2008). The motivating role of positive feedback in sport and physical education: Evidence for a motivational model. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 30, 240–268. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2008.01389.x.Google Scholar
  18. Oakes, J. (2005). Keeping track: How schools structure inequality (2nd ed.). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Organisation for Economic Cooperation, Development [OECD]. (2002). Reading for change. Performance and engagement across countries. Paris: OECD Publishing. doi: 10.1787/9789264099289-en.Google Scholar
  20. Organisation for Economic Cooperation, Development [OECD]. (2009). PISA 2009 assessment framework. Key competencies in reading, mathematics, and science. Paris: OECD Publishing.Google Scholar
  21. Organisation for Economic Cooperation, Development [OECD]. (2010a). PISA 2009 results: Learning to learn: Student engagement, strategies and practices (Volume III). Paris: OECD Publishing. doi: 10.1787/9789264083943-en.Google Scholar
  22. Organisation for Economic Cooperation, Development [OECD]. (2010b). PISA 2009 Results: Overcoming social background. Equity in learning opportunities and outcomes (Volume II). Paris: OECD Publishing. doi: 10.1787/9789264091504-en.Google Scholar
  23. Organisation for Economic Co-operation, Development [OECD]. (2004). Learning for tomorrow’s world. First results from PISA 2003. Paris: OECD Publishing. doi: 10.1787/9789264006416-en.Google Scholar
  24. Reeve, J. (2009). Understanding motivation and emotion (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  25. Reeve, J., & Deci, E. L. (1996). Elements of the competitive situation that affect intrinsic motivation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 24–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Reeve, J., & Jang, H. (2006). What teachers say and do to support students’ autonomy during a learning activity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 209–218. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.98.1.209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Reeve, J., Jang, H., Carrell, D., Jeon, S., & Barch, J. (2004). Enhancing students’ engagement by increasing teachers’ autonomy support. Motivation and Emotion, 28, 147–169. doi: 10.1023/B:MOEM.0000032312.95499.6f.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54–67. doi: 10.1006/ceps.1999.1020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ryan, R. M., Stiller, J., & Lynch, J. H. (1994). Representations of relationships to teachers, parents, and friends as predictors of academic motivation and self-esteem. Journal of Early Adolescence, 14, 226–249. doi: 10.1177/027243169401400207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Santa, C. M., Williams, C. K., Ogle, D., Farstrup, A. E., Au, K. H., Baker, B. M., et al. (2000). Excellent reading teachers: A position statement of the International Reading Association. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 44, 193–199.Google Scholar
  31. Skinner, E. A., & Belmont, M. J. (1993). Motivation in the classroom: Reciprocal effects of teacher-behavior and student engagement across the school year. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 571–581. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.85.4.571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Steckel, B. (2009). Fulfilling the promise of literacy coaches in urban schools: What does it take to make an impact? The Reading Teacher, 63, 14–23. doi: 10.1598/RT.63.1.2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Taboada, A., Tonks, S., Wigfield, A., & Guthrie, J. (2009). Effects of motivational and cognitive variables on reading comprehension. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 22, 85–106. doi: 10.1007/s11145-008-9133-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vallerand, R. J., & Reid, G. (1984). On the causal effects of perceived competence on intrinsic motivation: A test of cognitive evaluation theory. Journal of Sport Psychology, 6, 94–102.Google Scholar
  35. Van Elsäcker, W. (2002). Begrijpend lezen: Een onderzoek naar de invloed van strategiegebruik, leesmotivatie, vrijetijdslezen en andere factoren op het begrijpend lezen van eerste en tweede taalleerders in de middenbouw van het basisonderwijs [Reading comprehension: Studying the impact of strategy use, reading motivation, leisure time reading and other aspects on the reading comprehension of first and second language learners in the middle years of elementary education]. Amsterdam: Stichting Lezen.Google Scholar
  36. Van Keer, H. (2004). Fostering reading comprehension in fifth grade by explicit instruction in reading strategies and peer tutoring. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 37–70. doi: 10.1348/000709904322848815.Google Scholar
  37. van Schooten, E., & de Glopper, K. (2002). The relation between attitude toward reading adolescent literature and literary reading behavior. Poetics, 30, 169–194. doi: 10.1016/S0304-422X(02)00010-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Vansteenkiste, M., Sierens, E., Soenens, B., & Lens, W. (2007). Willen, moeten en structuur in de klas: Over het stimuleren van een optimaal leerproces [Willingness, need and structure in the classroom: About the stimulation of an optimal learning process]. Begeleid Zelfstandig Leren, 16, 37–58.Google Scholar
  39. Wang, J. H. Y., & Guthrie, J. T. (2004). Modeling the effects of intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, amount of reading, and past reading achievement on text comprehension between U.S. and Chinese students. Reading Research Quarterly, 39, 162–186. doi: 10.1598/RRQ.39.2.2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wigfield, A., & Guthrie, J. T. (1997). Relations of children’s motivation for reading to the amount and breadth of their reading. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89, 420–432. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.89.3.420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wigfield, A., Guthrie, J. T., Perencevich, K. C., Taboada, A., Klauda, S. L., McRae, A., et al. (2008). Role of reading engagement in mediating effects of reading comprehension instruction on reading outcomes. Psychology in the Schools, 45, 432–445. doi: 10.1002/Pits.2030.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wubbels, T., & Brekelmans, M. (2005). Two decades of research on teacher student-relationships in class. International Journal of Educational Research, 34, 6–24. doi: 10.1016/j.ijer.2006.03.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessie De Naeghel
    • 1
  • Martin Valcke
    • 1
  • Inge De Meyer
    • 1
  • Nele Warlop
    • 1
  • Johan van Braak
    • 1
  • Hilde Van Keer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational StudiesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

Personalised recommendations