Investigating Gender Differences in the Reading Motivation Profiles of a Population of Low-Literate Adult Learners
There is a known gender gap in literacy achievement with females consistently outperforming males on literacy tasks. Research has shown that this gender gap is present among all age groups ranging from school-aged children to adult learners (Statistics Canada & OECD, 2011). However, very little research has focused on literacy development in the adult population. The current research study examined whether or not gender disparities in reading performance and reading motivation were present in a population of adult learners. Participants included 544 individuals enrolled in an adult literacy program. Both quantitative and qualitative indices of reading experience were examined. A regression analysis revealed that several reading performance and motivation factors were significant predictors of gender. In addition, thematic analysis of qualitative interviews revealed several emergent themes, including extrinsic motivation and negative social feedback. Future research is required to examine the influence of motivational factors on adult reading achievement across gender.