Contextual Influences on Girls’ and Boys’ Motivation and Reading Achievement: Family, Schoolmates, and Country

  • Ming Ming ChiuEmail author
Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 15)


Girls outperform boys in reading, in part, due to differences in motivation and context effects (of family, schoolmates, and country). Compared to boys, girls tend to have more positive attitudes toward reading, enjoy it more, value it more, read more often and view themselves as competent in reading. Also, richer families buy more educational resources for boys than for girls, but girls engage in more family communication; both distinctions yield corresponding differences in motivation and reading achievement. Furthermore, girls typically participate in peer cultures at school with more female schoolmates who show greater reading motivation, more reading, and more discussion of books compared to other peer cultures with more male schoolmates; as a result, students in peer groups with more girls often have higher reading achievement. Also, richer countries offer more publicly available educational resources (public schools, museums, etc.) than poorer countries, so these resources substitute for educational resources at home, reduce their gender disparity at home, and raise girls’ reading advantage over boys. In countries with greater economic equality, students show higher overall reading achievement, and girls especially benefit from the parity in resources, which increases their reading gap with boys. Lastly, masculine cultures with rigid gender roles often discourage girls’ ambitions for high status, masculine jobs, which reduces their extrinsic reading motivation and reading achievement, compared to girls in other cultures.


Family Schoolmates Economy Cultural values Reading 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Special Education and CounsellingFaculty of Education and Human Development, The Education University of Hong KongTing KokHong Kong

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