Date of Award

1992

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

First Advisor

Dr Ross Latham

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to conduct a preliminary assessment, in the Western Australian context, of the relationship between reading achievement scores and time devoted to independent recreational reading, and the extent to which gender and socio-economic status, affect this relationship. The data pertaining to time spent in independent recreational reading were collected by means of a questionnaire. The subjects and their teachers were trained by the researcher in the procedure to be followed in the questionnaire completion. The data relating to reading achievement scores were generated through the administration of the comprehension sub-test of the Progressive Achievement Test (1973). The sample consisted of 65 Year Seven students chosen from three Perth metropolitan primary schools. The three schools were selected so that each socio-economic status level - high, middle and low was represented. Measures of socio-economic status were those derived from Ross, Farish and Plunkett (1988) criteria as used by the Western Australian Ministry of Education in identifying schools in the disadvantaged localities ( 1988). Pearson's product moment correlation coefficient was used to assess the significance of the relationship between reading achievement scores and time devoted to independent recreational reading. Simple analyses of variance were used to determine the significance of the differences between the means of the independent recreational reading scores for boys and girls as well as for low, middle and high socio-economic status groups. Likewise, the same procedure was used to determine the significance of the differences between the means of the reading achievement scores for boys and girls and for low, middle and high socio-economic groups. Arguments based on the hypothetical syllogism were used to infer the influence of gender and socio-economic status on the relationship between reading achievement scores and time devoted to independent recreational reading. Reading achievement scores were found to be significantly and positively related to time devoted to independent recreational reading. Girls were found to have significantly higher reading achievement scores and to devote significantly more time to independent recreational reading than boys. Subjects in the high socio-economic status group were found to have significantly higher reading achievement scores and to devote significantly more time to independent recreational reading than the middle socio-economic status group. Similarly, subjects in the middle socio-economic status group were found to have significantly higher reading achievement scores and to devote significantly more time to independent recreational reading than the low socio-economic group. It was interred that there are important gender and socio-economic status effects in the positive relationship between reading achievement scores and time devoted to independent recreational reading. On the basis of this study, it was concluded that a much more extensive study, into the relationship between reading achievement scores and time devoted to independent recreational reading, using more sophisticated sampling and statistical techniques, is warranted in the Western Australian context.

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