To What Extent Is Reading Motivation a Significant Predictor of Reading Achievement when Controlling for Language and Cognitive Ability? A Systematic Review

  • Pelusa Orellana GarcíaEmail author
Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 15)


Converging evidence has demonstrated that there are cognitive and emotional factors that impact reading ability. While the relationship between reading motivation and reading achievement has been widely documented in the literature, the question of how much variation can be accounted for by reading motivation, when cognitive and linguistic aspects are controlled for, can be more complex and has been examined to a lesser degree. Furthermore, there are fewer studies examining how reading motivation predicts reading achievement among early elementary students. The wide spectrum of factors associated with motivation, and the variety of methods used to assess it make it difficult to compare findings about its impact on reading ability. Studies show that the amount of variation which is attributed to motivation is contingent on several individual, cultural, linguistic, and emotional factors, among which are age, ethnicity, and verbal ability. The extent to which motivation can, in fact, be a strong predictor of reading performance, varies significantly across studies and grade levels.

In the current chapter, we examine recent literature (i.e., from 2000 to the present) describing studies in which motivation has been acknowledged as a significant contributor to reading ability, and discuss their findings, to better understand the variability of such impact. We focus on studies pertaining to elementary students. The analysis of such findings can help clarify the extent to which reading motivation does, in fact, predict reading ability when other cognitive and linguistic factors have been controlled for. This exploration will also help understand the various ways in which motivation can be better utilized to increase reading achievement, particularly among young readers.


Motivation predictors Reading achievement Motivation 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversidad de los AndesLas CondesChile

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