Does early reading failure decrease children's reading motivation?

Paul L. Morgan, Douglas Fuchs, Donald L. Compton, David S. Cordray, Lynn S. Fuchs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


The authors used a pretest-posttest control group design with random assignment to evaluate whether early reading failure decreases children's motivation to practice reading. First, they investigated whether 60 first-grade children would report substantially different levels of interest in reading as a function of their relative success or failure in learning to read. Second, they evaluated whether increasing the word reading ability of 15 at-risk children would lead to gains in their motivation to read. Multivariate analyses of variance suggest marked differences in both motivation and reading practice between skilled and unskilled readers. However, bolstering at-risk children's word reading ability did not yield evidence of a causal relationship between early reading failure and decreased motivation to engage in reading activities. Instead, hierarchical regression analyses indicate a covarying relationship among early reading failure, poor motivation, and avoidance of reading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-404
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • General Health Professions


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