Date of Award

1992

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

School

School of Education

First Advisor

Dr Peter Sloan

Second Advisor

Dr Amanda Blackmore

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the amount of time children spend in leisure reading and the variables of reading achievement, reading attitude, amount of television viewed, access to interesting materials in the home, competing leisure interests and gender. The subjects were 115 Year 6 children from 4 classes in Perth's northern suburbs. Reading achievement was measured using PAT Comprehension and PAT Vocabulary, Form A, Part 5. The Elementary Reading Attitude Survey measured attitude to recreational reading and attitude to academic reading, The Leisure Activities Questionnaire provided information on the amount of time devoted to leisure reading, the amount of television viewed, out-of school activities, reading materials and whether leisure reading could be increased. The study was a correlational and comparative group design. The results showed that there was a wide variation in the extent of recreational reading (ERR) and the mean was found to be 26 minutes per day, The best predictor of ERR was attitude to recreational reading (r=.514), There were significant positive correlations between ERR and both measures of attitude to reading and reading comprehension, and a significant negative correlation between ERR and the amount of television viewed. The multiple regression revealed that attitude to recreational reading, amount of television viewed and level of comprehension together accounted for 29.6% of the variance in ERR. The t tests showed that there was no significant difference in ERR between (a) sufficient versus not sufficient access to interesting materials in the home, (b) participation versus no participation in organised out-of-school activities, and (c) boys versus girls. The study indicated that children with a favourable attitude to reading, along with limited television viewing and competent reading ability are more likely to spend more of their leisure time in recreational reading. Fundamental to the desirable habit of leisure reading, is a favourable attitude to reading which can be developed by both the home and the school, through the provision of interesting reading materials and activities and opportunities to read for pleasure.

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