A Two-Study Examination Of Student Engagement And Its Relation To Adolescent Reading Comprehension
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The purpose of this research—which was divided into two parts—was to evaluate the extent to which adolescent reading comprehension research has addressed student engagement and examine the relationship between engagement, classroom practices, students’ reading skills, and comprehension. Study 1 reviewed adolescent reading comprehension intervention research published between the years 2000 and 2014 to examine the presence of engagement-enhancing practices. Additionally, it examined the extent to which engagement was measured, the dimensions of engagement commonly measured, the most common methods of measurement, and whether engagement was statistically linked to student outcomes. Study 2 examined whether behavioral and cognitive engagement mediated the impact of classroom practices and conditions on comprehension and whether students’ entry-level reading skills moderated the influence of behavioral and cognitive engagement on comprehension. In Study 1, a systematic literature review of adolescent reading comprehension interventions revealed 76 articles (80 studies) published between 2000 and 2014 that were coded for inclusion of engagement-enhancing components and measurement of engagement. Most of these studies (95%) included at least one engagement-enhancing component, but only 9% measured engagement. Findings of the limited studies (3%) that examined the relationship between engagement and outcomes indicated statistically significant effects for interventions that incorporated engagement-enhancing practices. Study 2 used structural equation modeling with two latent predictor factors (classroom practices and engagement) and one observed outcome (comprehension) gathered in the context of a multi-component reading comprehension intervention study designed to increase students’ comprehension of complex text. Findings indicated that behavioral engagement significantly predicted comprehension in both the treatment and business-as-usual conditions, but behavioral engagement only partially mediated the impact of classroom practices and conditions on comprehension in the treatment condition. Cognitive engagement did not significantly predict comprehension outcomes, nor did it act as a mediator. Students’ entry-level reading skills did not interact with their behavioral or cognitive engagement to predict comprehension. Both studies highlight the importance of engagement and provide preliminary evidence to support the relationship between classroom practices, engagement, and comprehension. More research is needed to better define and measure the multiple dimensions of engagement and determine which specific practices influence engagement, and how they do so.
Anderson, Leah A (2015). A Two-Study Examination Of Student Engagement And Its Relation To Adolescent Reading Comprehension. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from