The Influence of Motivational Factors on Reading Comprehension for Elementary School Students with Dyslexia

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Hutchings, Tamera Lynn
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Middle Tennessee State University
Dyslexia is a reading disability that interferes with accurate and fluent word reading. Deficits in word reading may cause secondary consequences, including reading comprehension difficulties. However, despite inherent word reading problems, there are students with dyslexia who exhibit resiliency that manifests as better than expected educational outcomes despite their struggles to read words. In particular, a subset of individuals with dyslexia comprehend written language better than would be expected based on their basic reading skills. Emerging research is focused on identifying protective factors to mitigate the setbacks in reading comprehension students with dyslexia may experience. Specifically, motivational factors, such as growth mindset and grit, are theorized to act as protective factors to foster resiliency. A growth mindset provides students with dyslexia the belief that abilities change with effort, whereas grit provides the persistence to improve abilities and meet goals. The current study examined the influence of a growth mindset and grit on reading comprehension in a sample of 196 elementary school students with dyslexia. Multiple regression models were used to evaluate the unique role of motivational factors on reading comprehension. Growth mindset and grit did not predict reading comprehension in the sample of students with dyslexia included in the current study. However, the results highlighted that language skills might serve as a protective factor to mitigate the adverse effects of word reading deficits on reading comprehension for individuals with dyslexia. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
Dyslexia, Grit, Growth Mindset, Motivation, Reading Comprehension, Reading instruction