Reading Motivations of Striving Sixth Graders: Expectancy-Value, Attitudes, Preferences, and Engagement

Carrie Anne Tocci, Fordham University


This qualitative and postpositivist study with two case studies—one female, one male—explored the reading motivation of striving sixth-grade students. In this study, striving readers are defined as sixth-grade students who performed below grade-level in Grade 5 (Greenleaf & Hinchman, 2009; Harvey & Ward, 2017). With a phenomenological approach, this case study intended to highlight student voice and the lived experiences of striving readers through self-report surveys, a semistructured interview, and classroom observations. Expectancy-value theory is a theoretical framework used for inquiry and data analysis. The Adolescent Motivation to Read Profile, survey, and conversational interview is used to assess participant reading self-concept (expectancy) and the value attributed to reading as an activity (Gambrell et al., 1996; Pitcher et al., 2007). The Survey of Adolescent Reading Attitudes is used to assess reading preferences, academic and recreational, whether digital or print (Conradi et al., 2014). Through a comparative analysis of participant data, findings noted (a) a preference for printed academic texts and fictional texts, (b) valued sibling input and vocabulary development, and (c) uninterrupted time to read at school as a noted source of engagement. Participants reported positive reading self-concepts, but the female participant reported a higher reading value and attitude toward reading.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Education Policy

Recommended Citation

Tocci, Carrie Anne, "Reading Motivations of Striving Sixth Graders: Expectancy-Value, Attitudes, Preferences, and Engagement" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28967545.