Factors Contributing to Reading Performance: An In-Depth Analysis of the “Boy Crisis”
MetadataShow full item record
This research used a quantitative study approach to investigate the “boy crisis” in Canada. Boy crisis advocates suggest that boys are being surpassed by girls on reading assessments and promote strategies to assist male students. A feminist framework was used in this study that allowed for an investigation and discussion of the factors that mediate between gender and success at reading comprehension, interpretation, and response to text without ignoring female students. Reading scores and questionnaire data compiled by the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program were used in this research, specifically the PCAP-13 2007 assessment of approximately 30,000 13-year-old students from all Canadian provinces and Yukon Territory (CMEC, 2008). Approximately 20,000 participants wrote the reading assessment, while 30,000 students completed the questionnaire responses. Predictor variables were tested using parametric tests such as independent samples t-test, one-way ANOVA, chi-square analysis, and Pearson r. Findings from this study indicate that although boys scored lower than girls on the PCAP-13 2007 reading assessment, factors were found to influence the reading scores of both male and female students to varying degrees. Socioeconomic status, perceptions of the reading material used in language arts classrooms, reading preference, reading interest, parental involvement, parental encouragement for reading, and self-efficacy were all found to affect the reading performance of boys and girls. Relationships between variables were also found and are discussed in this research. The analysis presented in this study allows parents, educators, and policy makers to begin to critically examine and re-evaluate boy crisis literature and offers suggestions on how to improve reading performance for all students of all socioeconomic backgrounds.