Gender differences in reading ability and attitudes: examining where these differences lie
Article first published online: 13 MAR 2009
© United Kingdom Literacy Association 2009
Journal of Research in Reading
Volume 32, Issue 2, pages 199–214, May 2009
How to Cite
Logan, S. and Johnston, R. (2009), Gender differences in reading ability and attitudes: examining where these differences lie. Journal of Research in Reading, 32: 199–214. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2008.01389.x
- Issue published online: 14 APR 2009
- Article first published online: 13 MAR 2009
- Received 25 February 2008; revised version received 21 May 2008.
The aim of this study was to investigate gender differences in the relationship between reading ability, frequency of reading and attitudes and beliefs relating to reading and school. Two hundred and thirty-two 10-year-old children (117 male) completed a reading comprehension test and a questionnaire exploring the following areas: frequency of reading, attitude to reading, attitude to school, competency beliefs and perceived academic support (from peers and teacher). Overall, girls had better reading comprehension, read more frequently and had a more positive attitude to reading and school. However, smaller gender differences were found in reading ability than in attitudes and frequency of reading. Indeed, effect sizes for gender differences in reading were found to be small in this and other studies. Reading ability correlated with both boys' and girls' reading frequency and competency beliefs; however, only boys' reading ability was associated with their attitude to reading and school. Notably, gender differences were found predominantly in the relationship between factors, rather than solely in the factors themselves. Previous research has neglected to study these relationships, and has focused instead on the gender differences found in individual factors. Conclusions are made regarding the applicability of these findings to the school situation.