The argument for and measurement of disposition toward reading

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Teaching and Learning

First Committee Member

Jeanne Shay Schumm - Committee Chair


"Disposition toward reading" is the active and voluntary pursuit of reading-related activities based on prior experiences. The primary purpose of this investigation was to explore the concept of disposition toward reading as a factor related to, but separate from, attitude toward reading. The focus of the study was threefold: (a) development of a measure of disposition, (b) correlation of the disposition measure with measures of other variables (attitude toward reading, participation in reading-related activities, and reading achievement), and (c) exploration of the predictive validity of the above mentioned measures in relation to attitude, disposition, and participation in reading-related activities.Development of the Disposition Toward Reading Scale (DTRS) entailed review of child activities included in extant research, student interviews, and two pilot studies. The final version of DTRS is a 25 item, small group administered, forced choice, self-report measure designed to assess relative propensity to choose reading-related or nonreading-related activities. Subjects included 138 primary level students in a large metropolitan school district participating in a larger, longitudinal study.Reliability of the DTRS was.87 (Cronbach's alpha). Pearson product moment correlations were employed to examine the relation between: disposition toward reading, attitude toward reading, reading achievement, and participation in reading-related activities. Results indicated that the disposition measure was statistically significantly correlated with attitude and participation, but not with reading achievement. Stepwise regressions revealed that disposition contributed to the explanation of variance in participation in reading-related activities. Variance in disposition was accounted for by attitude. Validity was assured by the methods employed in instrument development, correlations with related measures, and the predictive efficacy of disposition with participation.The findings of the study did not support the replacement of attitude by disposition. However, results suggest disposition may contribute some unique information, particularly in relation to participation in reading-related activities.


Education, Tests and Measurements; Education, Elementary; Education, Reading

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