Beyond Cognition: Reading Motivation and Reading Comprehension

Allan Wigfield, Jessica R. Gladstone, Lara Turci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, we review research on children's motivation to read and its relation to their reading comprehension. We begin by discussing work on the development of school motivation in general and reading motivation in particular, reviewing studies showing that many children's motivation to read declines over the school years. Motivation to read tends to differ by gender—with girls motivated more positively to read than boys. It also differs by ethnicity, in more complex ways. Over the last 15 years, researchers have identified instructional practices that boost students' motivation to read and their reading comprehension. Researchers should build on this work by developing and studying programs among children of different ages to identify effective classroom-based instructional approaches that motivate reading and use a variety of narrative and informational materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-195
Number of pages6
JournalChild Development Perspectives
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • comprehension
  • motivation
  • reading
  • reading cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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