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The Impact of Motivational Reading Instruction on the Reading Achievement and Motivation of Students: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Abstract

This systematic review and meta-analysis explores the impact of motivational reading interventions on the reading achievement and reading motivation of school-age students. Results of preliminary searches for—and inspection of—the existing meta-analytic literature suggest that while there exist published meta-analyses on motivational reading interventions, these would benefit from inclusion of more recent research and narrower selection criteria (e.g., inclusion of a non-motivational control group, school-based). A systematic search of previous meta-analyses of motivational reading interventions identified 28 articles meeting inclusion criteria, while a systematic search of individual motivational reading intervention studies (2007–2020) identified a further 21 articles. A meta-analysis of the resulting 49 studies corrected by Hedge’s g showed that motivational reading interventions were associated with an effect size of g = 0.20, p < .001 on reading achievement outcomes and an effect size of g = 0.30, p < .001 on reading motivation outcomes. However, analysis of funnel plots strongly suggested that publication bias was present in reporting of reading achievement outcomes. Analysis of moderators indicated that effect sizes varied significantly depending on content approaches to intervention, intensity of training given to intervention providers, study quality, and type of measures used. However, effect sizes did not vary significantly depending on group size or student population (e.g., age, at-risk status). Implications for research and practice are discussed.

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Note: Studies marked with an asterisk were included in the meta-analysis

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Funding

This research was funded by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec–Société et Culture.

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The idea for the article was put forth by the primary author Miriam McBreen, with input from Dr. Robert Savage. Miriam McBreen conducted the literature search, data analysis, and drafting, with critical revision by Dr. Robert Savage.

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Correspondence to Miriam McBreen.

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Appendices

Appendix 1 Quality code of articles

Table 2 Quality code of assessment for the 49 articles included in the meta-analysis

Appendix 2 WOE Analysis

Table 3 WOE (weight of evidence) for the 49 articles included in the meta-analysis

Appendix 3 Reading achievement and motivation outcomes

Table 4 Reading achievement and motivation outcomes

Appendix 4 Characteristics of studies

Table 5 Features of motivational intervention in the 49 studies of the meta-analysis

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McBreen, M., Savage, R. The Impact of Motivational Reading Instruction on the Reading Achievement and Motivation of Students: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Educ Psychol Rev 33, 1125–1163 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-020-09584-4

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Keywords

  • Reading motivation
  • Motivational instruction
  • Reading achievement