Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Kay A. Keiser


Reading motivation has been found to impact both literacy development and student achievement. Unfortunately, reading motivation tends to decline as students get older, and many students lose interest in reading by middle school (Edmunds & Bauserman, 2006). This decrease can have a negative impact on achievement and may also contribute to reading achievement gaps based on gender, race, and socioeconomic status. This study examined factors found in the Motivation for Reading Questionnaire (MRQ) that influence reading motivation for fourth and fifth grade students in a Midwest urban elementary school. In addition, the researcher sought to determine if there were significant differences in factors that influence motivation based on gender or grade level. Self-Determination Theory (SDT) was used as a framework in order to better explore both internal and external motivation factors. Eighty-six students from a Title 1, high-performing elementary school participated in the study. Findings from this study support the idea of reading motivation as a multidimensional construct. Students in this study were highly motivated readers and with few exceptions results agreed with other studies that report girls are more motivated than boys and reading motivation declines with age. This research found fourth and fifth grade participants were more extrinsically motivated to read, however, responses on the survey leaned more toward the intrinsic end of the SDT continuum.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2017 Jo A. O'Garro.

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